Normally, when I give in and let me opinions about a movie be known it is because everyone else on the planet loved it but I did not. It’s normally to express outrage at something that happened in said movie, such as unbelievable plots or character deaths that enrage me so much that it’s impossible to keep quiet. Films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Sherlock Holmes 2 or How To Train Your Dragon 2 (noticing a trend?). This, however, is the exact opposite of that. Jupiter Ascending is getting torn to shreds by critics and movie goers alike and I cannot understand why. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Before I start on this, just know that it took me YEARS to hone my book reviewing skills and I’ve only written a handful for films, so, you, it’s kinda rough.
Jupiter Ascending is that movie that I’ve been anticipating since the first trailer. I was actively looking forward to watching it in June of last year. June came and went and no movie. I start searching the internets and learned that it had been pushed back. I was very irritated at this. I wanted to see that movie and I wanted to see it now, dammit! My anticipation has just been building since then. I’m not a huge science fiction reader or fantasy reader. I read some, but it’s not the thing I gravitate towards. That is mostly because I don’t feel like my imagination is big enough to scope out the worlds created in such genres. But I love the storylines they present and I consume them in other forms. Films and shows allow me to be lazy because not only do they give me the pronunciations for these strange names, but they give me the visuals. I don’t have to work to see the world because they have done that for me. I will say that this film made me want to run out and buy bunchies of science fiction, which is a high compliment. It’s like that thing Neil Gaiman said in one of his interviews for the Stardust film. When he wrote Stardust, all he had to do was say “flying pirate ship” and it was up to the reader to conjure that image. When making the film, these poor people actually had to build a flying pirate ship (or something they could fake into looking like it was flying). The filmmakers do that for me and I get to be gloriously lazy.
Now that you see my uber-excitement, let’s get to the movie itself, shall we? The film starts out with your basic poor girl who wants more concept. That’s something I’m sure we can all relate to on some level because I doubt there is truly anyone out there who wants for nothing. That’s probably why we see it so much, because universal themes strike a cord…well, universally. Anyway, Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, who works with her family cleaning houses for a living. She has to get up early in the morning and scrub toilets and she basically hates it all. She soon learns that her dreams of more are a possible reality. She’s the reincarnation of a alien who owns Earth. The problem with this? Well, apparently Earth is extremely valuable and others are willing to kill her to keep her from claiming it. This is where Caine (AKA Channing Tatum) comes into play, saving her ass on occasion and generally helping her on her journey to claim the planet to save it.
Okay, so that’s not really my best summary, but again, I’m new at this. I really liked all the actors in this. I’ve only seen Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, and Sean Bean in other things, so most of the actors where new to me. I think most of them did a great job. The only thing that really bugged me about the actors was Eddie Redmayne’s way of whisper-talking. That may have been how his director told him to do it and I’m sure it works for some people, but it really just bugged me every time he spoke. Actually, I wasn’t a big fan of him in particular, now that I think about it. I felt like he tried to play his role in a very understated way that backfired because the theatrics still felt a bit over the top. Every time he expressed emotion, I was snickering. That might have been just me because my husband did no express the same feelings, but still, it bothered me.
Character-wise, I liked the ones I was supposed and hate the ones I was supposed to. Jupiter’s Cinderella-esque life had me relating to her immediately. Really, we all want things above our means. I mean, I know I said that already, but it’s the truth and it really grabbed my attention. I’m a sucker for those characters that I can really understand. Plus, you know, her romance with Caine doesn’t hurt.
Speaking of Caine, let me just say that I’m not the biggest Channing Tatum fan. I think he’s a pretty decent actor and I’ve enjoyed many films featuring him (his voice role in Book Of Life cracked me up…JOAQUIN!!!!!), but I just don’t find his face particularly attractive. I know I’m in the minority on that, but I just don’t. Now, from the shoulders to the hips, that’s a different story, but I’m just not a big fan of his face. BUT, something about the blond scruff and the guy-liner he was sporting in this really worked for me. Seriously, just stay that way. I did an internet image search trying to find a decent picture of it, but there isn’t one just yet. All the good pics are just profile shots and that doesn’t do it justice. Either way, Caine was hot. He can follow me around call me “her majesty” all day if that is his desire. JUST SAYING! He’s does the whole strong, silent type thing him, being a bad-ass fighter.
The villains, well, I don’t really want to comment on them. They are the bad guys, therefore they are bad. That’s all you really need to know, right? They don’t really have any redeeming qualities and that is how I like it. As for the story, I thought it was imaginative and captivating. It keeps you interested and on the edge of your seat, if you’ll let it. I found a lot of comments online that the story asked you to believe too many outlandish things and I find that preposterous. This is science fucking fiction! What do you expect? The premise of all scifi requires that leap of faith about the concept of the world and the rules set therein. If you wanted realistic, why the hell did you go to see a space opera? Go watch a war movie where everyone dies or a sappy modern day romance if you want to realism. Those aren’t necessarily realistic either, but it’s much closer than you’ll get with science fiction. For me, my only problem with the plot/storyline was that I felt like you didn’t get a minute to breathe. Once you find out that Jupiter is a reoccurance, things just happen one after another and you don’t really get the opportunity to catch your breathe and digest what has happened.
For me, this film was near perfect. I don’t see why everyone is bashing it. I realize that my opinion is almost always vastly different than the general population. I have specific tastes (DON’T YOU DARE MAKE A CHRISTIAN GREY REFERENCE FROM THAT) and I’m not very forgiving of certain faults, but this gave me no real problems. I liked it enough that I will seriously consider seeing it in theaters a second time. Beyond an interesting story, you get a gorgeous backdrop. Every shot is worth it. I went out of my way to see this film in IMAX 3-D, which is not something I do often because anything 3D usually leaves me with a terrible headache, but it was entirely worth it.
What should you take from my extremely rambling review? It’s simple really, I thought this movie was damn near perfect. It’d give it 4.5 bows. It’s visually stunning, well acted, heart-warming, and funny. I also think the ending is perfect. It’s everything I was expecting and more. Fuck everyone who disses it. It’s people like you who demand something different than the typical Hollywood film and then bitch about it when you get it. It just makes me sad that this wasn’t more of a success because that means there is no possibility of a sequel and that’s something I would love to see! So, you know, go see the film and give it a chance. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.