Jupiter Ascending




The Wachowskis’ derivative space odyssey is not only incoherent but ridiculous.


Jupiter Ascending

Gene genie: Gugu Mbatha-Raw 


Lana (formerly Larry) and Lilly (formerly Andy) Wachowski's ‘all new’ space odyssey Jupiter Ascending pretty much borrows from every sci-fi template previously exploited by Star Trek, Star Wars, et al, and just hurls it at the screen (available in IMAX and 3D) to increasingly diminishing returns. But deep within the jumble of CGI and pilfered ideas lies an interesting construct. The Interesting Construct is that a humble (and very pretty) lavatory cleaner (Mila Kunis) is born with a gene pattern that’s an exact duplicate of a previous one. This doesn’t happen very often – if at all – but when it does it’s called a Recurrence. So our plucky heroine – with the unlikely name of Jupiter Jones – becomes the centre of a cosmic auction for her loyalty: she is, after all, the new genetic heir to the universe. 


And so poor Jupiter finds herself sucked from one spatial domain to the next while being threatened and courted by the likes of a sleazy Douglas Booth, a whispering Eddie Redmayne and an oaken Channing Tatum (sporting a nifty pair of hover boots). Considering the money invested in this saga ($175 million), it seems extraordinary that so much of the dialogue is inaudible, squandering any potential coherence. But even if one can actually understand what the heck is going on, it’s all terribly po-faced and ridiculous, while there’s only so much plummeting, burning masonry one can take in 127 minutes. If you can imagine Guardians of the Galaxy without a single joke, then you’ve got Jupiter Ascending in one.


Cast: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Edward Hogg, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tuppence Middleton, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Vanessa Kirby, Ariyon Bakare, David Ajala, Doona Bae, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tim Pigott-Smith, James D'Arcy, Jeremy Swift, Terry Gilliam, Rupert Frazer, Simon Dutton.

Dir Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, Pro Grant Hill, Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, Screenplay Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, Ph John Toll, Pro Des Hugh Bateup, Ed Alexander Berner, Music Michael Giacchino, Costumes Kym Barrett.

Village Roadshow Pictures/RatPac-Dune Entertainment/Anarchos Productions- Warner Brothers.
127 mins. USA/Australia. 2015. Rel: 6 February 2015. Cert. 12A.