January and February are known as Hollywood's shit pile. When a studio has a stinking, Indian food dump of a movie to deal with, it drops it during winter's doldrums hoping fewer people will notice the stench. So when Warner Bros. moved the release date of Jupiter Ascending from tentpole July 2014 to nothing-to-see-here February 2015, you knew it had a Marmaduke-sized dog on its hands.
And this dog won't hunt. Or come when it's called. Or make it outside before unleashing a stream of hot piss all over the place.
Seriously, believe the hype. Jupiter Ascending is a butt-numbing bore. It's Superman IV bad. It takes all the worst parts of Dune, The Chronicles of Riddick and The Phantom Menace - the mincing machinations of silly-voiced space aristocrats, scene after scene of intergalactic trade negotiations, an overly-convoluted "You are The One." plotline - and treats them with such misplaced solemnity that the end result is as thrilling as a tax audit.
Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, a literally unbelievably hot Russian immigrant cleaning woman, who also happens to be the genetic reincarnation of some dead rich bitch and, therefore, the rightful owner of Earth, which, it turns out, is merely a cattle ranch of sorts for immortality juice with humans as the cows. Natch. House Abrasax (really?) is heavily invested in the intergalactic immortality juice market, so its three conniving sibling leaders each want to kill Jupiter and claim the Earth for their own.
Half man, half wolf, part albino for no fucking reason at all and oft-shirtless for the ladies and gay guys bounty hunter Caine (Channing Tatum) is sent to capture Jupiter but takes a shine to her because she looks like Mila Kunis and decides to help her instead. Caine wears hover-boots which come in handy each of the roughly dozen times Jupiter falls from some great height and needs to be saved at the last moment. The fact that Caine looks like he's rollerblading through the air when he uses the boots, laughably counter to physics, common sense and visually-pleasing aesthetics, is just one of the myriad examples of how epically the Wachowskis have failed with Jupiter Ascending.
That's right, the Wachowskis, the former brothers - now brother and sister - who made two first-date-blowjob-awesome movies, the smart and sexy Bound and the mind-bending The Matrix, followed by the middlin' enjoyable The Matrix Reloaded and the head-scratching misfires The Matrix Revolutions, Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas. These once-great, boundary-pushing visionaries obviously shot their loads early on, because Jupiter Ascending continues their downward spiral of suckitude.
The only positive thing anyone has said about Jupiter Ascending is that it features the Wachowskis' signature stellar special effects. Those people are idiots because where the effects in The Matrix were game changers the "special" effects in Jupiter Ascending look cheap and uninspired. From alien cityscapes to elephant-faced pilots to fleets of zipping spaceships, you've seen it all done better before.
And speaking of zipping spaceships, how did two formerly genius filmmakers make one of the most annoying mistakes in sci-fi moviedom by forgetting that SPACE IS FUCKING THREE-DIMENSIONAL?! When Caine and his frenemy, Stinger (Sean Bean), zoom in to save Jupiter for the umpteenth time, they're blocked by thousands of space ships arrayed like a wall between them and their target. Caine and Stinger take a beating as they try to blast their way through the wall of ships instead of just, you know, flying the fuck around them!
Ending it all in one of Futurama's suicide booths - another production detail cribbed by Jupiter Ascending - would be better than having to sit through this cosmic cunt scab.
February 8, 2015