“Jupiter Ascending,” a film directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski, has the fixings of a great video game: over-the-top action, amazing sci-fi technologies and striking visuals abound. As a movie, however, it’s a failure in almost every regard.
The Wachowskis’ latest offering is all flash and no substance. A legion of costume and prop designers and visual effects artists gave 110 percent and their work is stunning.
With plenty of CGI-driven action and beautiful settings, almost every second of this movie looks gorgeous. Sadly, it’s hard to appreciate the designers’ work when it’s being wasted on a premise so poorly conceived.
It’s difficult to overstate how ridiculous and bewildering the story is. Apparently, Jupiter Jones, played by Mila Kunis, is the reincarnation of some outer space queen. This revelation brings her into conflict with people who want to steal the Earth, which she has inherited.
Though half of the movie consists of people explaining things to Jupiter, it’s rarely clear what’s going on. The Wachowskis didn’t spend nearly enough time on developing the universe in which the story takes place, robbing “Jupiter Ascending” of much-needed coherence.
The characters are as bland and one-dimensional as they come. Jupiter is useless and gullible, while her protector Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) has no personality. All the visually impressive action scenes might actually be interesting if we cared about the people involved in them. The actors, seemingly aware of how bad the script is, put forth little effort, which only heightens how boring their characters are.
Over-designed and under-written, “Jupiter Ascending” is a massive waste of talent, money and effort. The film’s ambition is admirable, but no amount of bombastic effects can save the laughably inept storyline.