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Jupiter Ascending (Review) (II)

A twisted tale with stunning visuals.

by Randy Krinsky

Jupiter Ascending is the latest film by acclaimed filmmakers, Andy and Lana Wachowski, the dream team that brought us The Matrix Trilogy. It is a futuristic tale, full of style and colors as you would expect from the Wachowskis. The story revolves around a young woman named Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis). She is stuck in a relentless, dead-end family job, yet she dreams of so much more. Then one day she meets a genetically engineered warrior, Caine (Channing Tatum) and learns she has been targeted for death by a powerful intergalactic businessman. Jupiter joins Caine on a journey throughout the stars to discover why her death has been ordered and what importance her life might have for the entire planet Earth.

Jupiter Ascending
Directed by The Wachowski's
Cast Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne
Release Date 6 February 2015
Randy's Grade: B-

Being a sci-fi fan, the film was on my radar from the beginning (although I did shudder at the thought of a bleach-blonde Channing Tatum with elf ears). The beginning of the film takes place on Earth, supposedly in the future but still with a present-day feel. When the futuristic elements are introduced there is a feeling of contradiction. The juxtaposition of futuristic aliens, weapons and intergalactic battles taking place with a present-day backdrop just doesn't sit right. The Wachowskis do score points with the incredible effects and cinematography, even for the Earth-bound scenes. Once the action leaves our blue planet and enters the realm of intergalactic intrigue, then the film really blasts off, so to speak.

It's been referred to as a space opera and the production is just as grand. We are introduced to galactic economics, family power struggles, genetic manipulation, opportunistic backstabbing and at times the story can get a bit convoluted. The acting is good, even with the award-winning Eddie Redmayne chewing the scenery at all times! The tone of the film is steady and the soundtrack supplements the action quite well. The film is fast-paced, the colors vibrant and the visuals stunning! There are some comedic elements that might earn a chuckle but they work against the overall mood of the film, rather than support it.

Despite the few negatives, I enjoyed the film. I went in skeptical but if you can grasp the storyline, then the high production values and stunning visuals will carry you the rest of the way home. I would highly recommend seeing this film in 3D. The Wachowski's layering of scenic elements in this film is best experienced in 3D. There's plenty of space debris, flying spaceships, flying Channing Tatum, and even bees coming off the screen to keep you entertained, and none of it detracts from the storyline. A true positive 3D experience if ever there was one! This is not a bad movie, it might not be a great one, but if you're a fan of sci-fi action then you could do much worse than Jupiter Ascending.

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