Film review: Jupiter Ascending (5 out of 10)

Douglas Booth and Mila Kunis in Jupiter Ascending
Douglas Booth and Mila Kunis in Jupiter Ascending

What do you get when you pull together a bunch of decent actors, some expensive CGI and a massive budget?

Well, sadly not a particularly good movie in this case.

Directors and writers the Wachowskis are known for The Matrix series and more recently Cloud Atlas.

While all these films had an element of over complication, I still enjoyed them.

But while the essential plot of Jupiter Ascending isn’t that difficult to fathom, it’s almost buried beneath layers of story and characters that muddy the waters.

What we have is plenty of action and amazing special effects but very little substance.

Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones who spends her time cleaning (mostly toilets it seems) along with her family.

But it appears she has a destiny that she knows nothing about - to inherit the Earth.

However, the family Abrasax (two brothers and a sister) who rule much of the galaxy and swan around in fancy spacecraft or live in amazing cities on other planets want the Earth and are keen to dispose of Jupiter or get her to sign it away.

Enter her saviour Caine, a genetically engineered warrior, played by Channing Tatum.

And that’s really the whole story.

However, there are so many different people working for the Abrasax siblings, all plotting and conniving, that I was confused who was doing what to whom.

I could have ignored this but the movie includes just about every plot cliche you can think of.

There’s no real feeling of dread or threat to Jupiter or Caine because you just know that good is going to prevail over evil.

Mila Kunis is a good actor but this role barely stretches her.

Eddie Redmayne as the big bad Balem Abrasax puts on this strange forced voice in an attempt to make himself as evil as possible. It doesn’t really work, though give him credit for trying something different.

Among the rest, Sean Bean is a former ‘colleague’ of Caine but the two have a strange way of saying hello - with their fists.

To be honest the whole film made me think of the 1984 film Dune - I struggled to follow that as well and in both it feels like a can of testosterone has been opened on the set by mistake.

Film details: Jupiter Ascending (12A) 127mins

Directors: The Wachowskis

Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne