Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Writer: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Cast: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Christina Cole, Maria Doyle Kennedy, David Ajala, Doona Bae, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, James D’Arcy, Terry Gilliam
Seen on: 10.02.2015
Jupiter (Mila Kunis) and her mother (Maria Doyle Kennedy) work as cleaners for rich people. Russian immigrants themselves, they can only dream of the riches they are cleaning. But there is something about Jupiter that catches the attention of some very powerful people who are not from earth. Former soldier and wolf/human hybrid Caine (Channing Tatum) is only one of a few people trying to get Jupiter. But he makes it his mission to protect Jupiter, whatever may come. And so Jupiter finds herself whisked from earth and crowned space royalty – and that’s only the beginning of the adventure.
I went into Jupiter Ascending armed with vodka and about 50 extremely negative reviews at the back of my head, expecting the worst. And it is true that it is not a particularly good film. But I had so much more honest to goodness fun in the film than I’d ever thought I would have, I can only recommend it.
Look, I won’t pretend like the film isn’t cheesy as hell. I won’t say that there aren’t any plotholes and I won’t say that it doesn’t have its fair share of ridiculousness. There is plenty of that, especially the plotholes are flabbergastingly big at times which convinced me that they had to notice but just didn’t care.
But all of that is very much part of the film’s charm. Who doesn’t want to see Eddie Redmayne’s best impression of a personified, futuristic Oedipus complex leading a dinosaur army (and honestly, he should have gotten his Oscar for this film because he was so much more outstanding in it than in Theory of Everything)? Who doesn’t want to see Sean Bean play a bee-human called Stinger – and survive a film? Who doesn’t want a romance where the woman demands to be called Your Majesty and her big declaration of love to her wolf-human is that she’s always loved dogs?
The thing about Jupiter Ascending is that it’s basically the wish-fulfillment story of a teenage girl, which in itself is already a sorely missed counterweight to the tons and tons of teenage boy wish-fulfillment movies out there. But not only that, it approaches the fantasies in it without any irony. It takes them seriously, it exalts in them. So, at the end of the film, the toilet scrubbing immigrant really is the queen of the world and has a wolf-human boyfriend with wings and can herself fly.
And at the end of the film, I still had a whole lot left of my vodka and a huge grin on my face. Because while Jupiter Ascending might not have great dialogues, storytelling, characters or complexity, it has heart, optimism and positivity – for the genre, for movies in general, for fantasies – in spades. And I’d rather watch that than yet another entry into serious science fiction that is all about the boys or all the heternormative, heteroromantic and patriarchal crap that is usually peddled to women and girls as their fantasies.