Movies

The Pros and Cons of Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending hits theaters July 18, with trailers out now.

Written and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski (formerly Andy and Larry Wachowski), Jupiter Ascending is about a janitor who learns she is a princess of Earth.  An evil alien prince wants to take her title away.  The trailer won’t really give you any more information, but here it is anyway:

 

I want this movie to do well so studios will keep making science fiction movies that don’t feature superheroes or massive robot/ alien monsters. The Wachowskis don’t have Hollywood’s cleanest track record, and their films are often hit- or- miss. Here’s why Jupiter Ascending could be a hit- or a miss.

The Pros and Cons of Jupiter Ascending

PROS

Produced and Directed by the Wachowskis.

They also directed V For Vendetta, The Matrix, Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas. Only one of those was famously terrible.

speed racer

For the record, I thought Speed Racer was awesome.

Same director of photography and editor as Cloud Atlas.

The Wachowski’s last film was cryptic and confusing, but it had beautiful photography and spectacular editing.

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas is based on David Mitchell’s 2004 novel.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s a mind- bending trip through space and time.  The plot works better as a book but the movie features thrilling visuals and is still fun to think about.  Philosophy- wise, this is the closest the Wachowskis have come to the original Matrix.

Sean Bean.

Our favorite former Game of Thrones cast member plays another good guy! Whether he dies or not remains to be seen.

san bean game of thrones

Mila Kunis.

As if consciously trying to cast the hottest boy and girl on the planet right now, Mila Kunis stars.  Funnygirl Mila seems like an odd choice for science fiction movie, until you remember that Mila Kunis can actually act (remember Black Swan?).

mila kunis black swan

CONS

Channing Tatum.

Every time someone expects me to believe Channing Tatum has more than one ounce of intelligence, I balk. He dances well and models underwear well. Acting? Not so much. I get that he was probably cast because he’s a total hunk, except…

Channing Tatum looks like this.

channing tatum albino

They’ve literally bleached the hotness out of Channing’s face!! It’s like what Saturday Night Live actors wear when they’re trying to make fun of albinos.  Killer special effects does not equal killer makeup!

Mila Kunis’ character’s name is Jupiter Jones.

As Denise Richard’s Christmas Jones should have taught us, you can never take someone seriously when their non- name is followed by Jones.

Denise Richards as Christmas JonesRichards played Dr. Jones in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough, the 19th James Bond movie.

Written by the Wachowskis.

The Wachowskis haven’t written an original screenplay since they were the Wachowki Brothers (Larry Wachowski officially became Lana in 2008). That was 2003’s The Matrix: Revolutions. The Matrix trilogy grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide, but in its aftermath fans criticized its cheesy dialogue and the melodramatic relationship between Neo and Trinity. Also the bad acting. Poor Keanu Reeves.

Keanu Trinity

Granted, the Wachowskis have described Jupiter Ascending as a “science fiction space opera”, which I learned from Wikipedia means basically a soap opera set in space. So all my cons might just be features of the genre that I don’t understand. That said, I consider myself a pretty average moviegoer, and a perhaps slightly above average science fiction moviegoer.  Plus, I liked all the Wachowski’s movies, even Speed Racer.  If I don’t have hope for this movie, no one will!

jupiter ascending

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