Sunday, February 15, 2015

Jupiter Ascending (live action movie) - at the movie theater

I hadn't originally planned on seeing Jupiter Ascending. Then I read a review of it on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and thought “eh, why not, the movie theater is cheap here.”

Because of that review, I knew to expect an enormous nonsensical mess. I disagree with SBTB a little as far as the movie's prettiness goes. There were some great shots – I loved the wedding, for example – but the big battles were just noise and a bunch of lights, moving things, and explosions.

All right, on to the story, as I understood it. Warning: I'm going to try to avoid major spoilers, but I'm not guaranteeing anything. On the plus side, I don't know that spoilers would necessarily ruin the experience.

Jupiter, the daughter of a Russian immigrant, wants more out of life than waking up every morning before 5 and cleaning other people's toilets. Specifically, she would like a telescope, just like one her dad might have had if he hadn't been killed before she was born. This is why she agrees to her relative's idea to sell her eggs, which results in her nearly being killed by aliens. She is saved by Caine Wise, a half-albino wolf-human hybrid wearing sci-fi rollerblades.

I'm a little fuzzy on some of the details from here on out. Apparently, there are three royal alien siblings (who are actually humans) who are fighting each other for possession of the planet Earth. You see, they seed various planets with humans, which they later harvest for some kind of youth elixir, and Earth is ready to be harvested. Earth is assumed to belong to one of the siblings. The only problem is Jupiter (the girl, not the planet). As it turns out, she's an exact genetic match for the siblings' deceased mother, which makes her the true owner of Earth. This puts Jupiter in grave danger. Luckily for her, Caine's willing to betray his boss to keep her safe.

There is a lot of stuff in this movie. A lot. Bees recognizing royalty, exhausting bureaucracy, a sanitary napkin used for first aid, inheritance law, explosions, elixir of youth, angel wings, and more explosions. There were a few periods when I had no idea what was going on, and I'm still not sure why certain people did what they did, or what happened to them when the movie was done with them. Did the bounty hunters just leave? Was Kalique really just there to show how the elixir worked and that's it? How was Jupiter planning on keeping Earth for more than just a few decades? Why did that one ship support Jupiter when she had basically no power? I mean, sure, she was the queen, but it wasn't like she had an army of her own. Oh, and did Jupiter really read and retain an entire alien law book in just a few hours?

And I haven't even touched on the romance yet. This movie was what you might get if you put a bunch of romance subgenres in a blender and then poured the result in a space opera cup. This could have been really great, except either Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum had no chemistry or the action scenes and explosions didn't give them enough time to display any. Also, considering how quickly they fell in love (amazingly, if I remember correctly, Jupiter made the first move), I must say that the Wachowskis wasted a perfect opportunity for Caine to talk about soulmates and wolves mating for life and such.

I don't really know how I feel about this movie. Saying it was good would be a lie, but I had more fun with it than I normally do with movies I consider to be bad. I'm going to have to go with the general consensus on SBTB and say that I would give it a rating of “WTF.” It's a bizarrely appealing mess, and part of me wants to see it a second time. I just wish the aerial and space battles had been shortened, to make room for more bees, bureaucracy, and Channing Tatum getting there in the nick of time.

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