Friday, February 6, 2015
Friday Flicks: Jupiter Ascending Edition
Actual rating 2.5 stars.
An average housekeeper named Jupiter Jones's life takes a hard left turn when she meets a wolfish ex-Legionnaire named Caine (Channing Tatum) from another world. Her life is thrust into danger as she realizes she's being targeted by aliens. It turns out she is the (not quite) reincarnation of the matriarch of a galactic royal family. Basically, she should own Earth. Also, it turns out that these elite royals seeded many planets, including Earth, and most humans would be shocked to learn how much else there is out there (and that spoiler alert - Sean Bean doesn't die in this movie!).
Going in, after watching the trailer, I thought this looked like it had quite a bit of potential. However, most of it is wasted. Before I get into what I didn't care for about this movie, I'll talk about what I did like. The visuals are absolutely stunning and looked really cool in 3D. I mean, those gravity surfing rocket boots look like a lot of fun. They seriously reminded me of how much I want to get new rollerblades and ice skates... Anyways, I also really enjoyed the score. It actually sounds very epic in all the ways an adventurous space opera should. It definitely takes up quite a bit of slack when the movie loses the thread. Terry Gilliam also has a cameo which is quite reminiscent of Brazil - very cool. Like I mentioned before, Sean Bean is in this movie, and like any fan, I wondered if he was going to make it through the movie in one piece. I was quite pleased to see that he does indeed make it to the end of the movie. By the way, Edwin Jarvis from Agent Carter portrays Jupiter's father in the film's opening, but he doesn't live to see Jupiter's birth.
Now, on to my issues with the movie. Jupiter Ascending is, unfortunately, underwhelming and left me slightly confused throughout. There are four particular things that really grated on me in regards to the movie. The first being Mila Kunis as our title character. Jupiter is bland and extremely gullible. I would have liked the main character to have a little more personality. Basically, I could say this for all of the characters in this movie - they could all stand to be more developed. The second is the dialogue. The dialogue is awkward. Of course, some of it is meant to be (see: Jupiter), but a lot of it is unintentionally awkward and clunky. In a similar vein, the pacing of the movie is poor. There are quite a few pulse-pounding action scenes, but there is a lot of exposition that bogs the whole works down dramatically, and for the most part, the exposition is just as awkward. Finally, several of the characters could have been combined or removed altogether in order to streamline the movie. For example, I'd say Titus and Balem (Redmayne fell flat in this role, but at least he was trying in comparison to Kunis) could easily be combined into one villainous character, which could also help Jupiter seem less dumb. I don't understand why Stinger's (Sean Bean's) daughter was even introduced. I thought that cough was going to mean something, but it apparently didn't since that's all we see of her.
Overall, this movie had a lot of potential, but never really delivered. Both the visuals and the soundtrack are good, but the rest was quite underwhelming. Sean Bean was easily my favorite - mostly because he's Sean Bean. Channing Tatum also turned out to be okay as Caine Wise - I've only ever seen him in 21 Jump Street (which was hilarious) and Public Enemies where he had a small part as Pretty Boy Floyd. Is it odd that I want to call him Tatum Channing? Channing just sounds like a last name to me...either way, I would like a pair of those boots, or at least new rollerblades or ice skates. Even though the movie is technically an original story, it is filled with tropes. Jupiter Ascending had it's moments, but could have been sooo much better.
The trailers accompanying this film included Insurgent, The Walk, and Star Wars VII. All of which looked quite impressive with my 3D glasses.
The movie theater received new 3D glasses, since the last one I'd seen there. Unfortunately, these ones were less comfortable and more head-pinching.
I thought I was going to have the theater to myself (I went to the 4pm showing) - but two other movie-goers stepped in just before the trailers began.
Afterward, I went to Bob Evans and tried the Double Chocolate Hotcakes. I didn't think I'd ever say this because I love chocolate and pancakes, but that was honestly way too much chocolate at once.
When I got home, I picked up my cat to give him a hug and he immediately sneezed in my face. It's a wonder I don't have a stomachache and cat flu...