Jupiter Ascending

An American-Australian science fiction / fantasy flick, Jupiter Ascending is a 2015 movie written, produced, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski. The film stars Channing Tattum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Terry Gilliam & Maria Doyle Kennedy.

The movie has this premise that over a billion years ago a race of humans first evolved in another solar system (or is it another galaxy?) and as they advanced technologically they became transhumans and established colonies around the galaxy. They seeded humans on earth and other planets for the purpose of later “harvesting” the resulting organisms to produce a type of youth serum for the elites on still other planets. Hence these transhumans live for many, many thousands of years. After the death of the matriarch of the House of Abrasax, the most powerful of the alien dynasties, her children, Balem, Kalique, and Titus, quarrel over the inheritance, with Balem inheriting an enormous refinery on Jupiter and Titus declaring his intention to dismantle the youth serum trade, of which Earth is the next intended source.

Meanwhile on Earth, a young woman named Jupiter (named by her Russian immigrant mother after her husband’s wish and to honour him after he was killed by thieves) Jones, is living out a dull life cleaning people’s houses with her mother and aunts in Chicago, staying in a house with her mother’s relatives. To buy a telescope (a passion she shared with the father she never knew), Jupiter agrees to sell her eggs with the help of her cousin Vladie (Kick Gurry), under the name of her friend Katharine Dunlevy. One night at Katharine’s house, the girls are attacked by extraterrestrial ‘Keepers’; and when Jupiter photographs these, they erase her memory of the incident. Later at the clinic for donating the eggs, the doctors and nurses are identified as Balem’s agents, sent to kill her, and she is saved by Caine Wise, a former soldier sent by Titus. Caine takes her to Stinge Apini, a veteran soldier and former comrade of his, who was banished and has been now living on earth with his young daughter. While at the latter’s house, we learn that Jupiter is part of this alien royalty and Stinger explains to her about the origins of humanity on earth.

A group of hunters attack the house and take Jupiter to Kalique’s palace on a distant planet, where Kalique explains that Jupiter is genetically identical to the dead matriarch, and therefore the Earth’s rightful owner. Supported by Captain Diomika Tsing , part of an intergalactic police force, Caine retrieves her from Kalique, and brings her to the planet Ores (the intergalactic capital city) to claim her inheritance. On the way back to Earth, Titus detains Jupiter and Caine, to whom he reveals his plan to marry and then kill Jupiter and claim Earth before throwing Caine into the void; but Caine survives and saves Jupiter at the altar. Jupiter asks to return home, but learns that her family has been taken hostage by Balem.

At Balem’s refinery, hidden behind the Red Spot on the plant Jupiter, he demands earth in exchange for Jupiter’s family. Jupiter decides not to hand over earth for her family as Balem would need her permission to harvest the humans on her planet. Balem tries to kill Jupiter; but she defeats him in a fight, and is rescued by Caine, Stinger, and Tsing. Jupiter’s family is returned home with no memory of their disappearance, while Jupiter secretly retains ownership of the Earth. Her family buys her the telescope she wanted and Caine receives a pair of wings earlier removed from his body.

Ok, visually – stunning. Conceptually – maybe somewhat original. The finished product – a mess. You don’t really feel connected to the characters or the lazy story and the writing. Humanoids that are part dinosaur, deer and canine? Ok! A couple of hairstyles that made me laugh out loud. Spaceships are awesome, effects are great, sound awesome etc etc. But still just barely ok. I was actually bored in between because Tattum and Mila Kunis seem like a dull couple. 7 outta 10!

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