This blog contains spoilers. This may not be a bad thing as it could save you a couple of hours of precious life you’ll never, ever get back.
Jupiter Ascending is a science fiction/space opera film written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski, the creators of the Matrix trilogy. I decided to give it a watch last night and it is by far, one of the worst films I’ve seen in a long time, which isn’t to say that it’s not badly made. It isn’t. In fact it looks lovely, and some of the designs look fantastic but any script that contains the line ‘bees don’t lie‘ and commands the actor saying it to keep a straight face is shite. In fact at points the film feels like a bit of fan-fiction.
It should be a decent bit of space opera. Earth-girl finds out she’s the reincarnation of a princess that actually owns the Earth, but a race of evil Space Tories want to kill her as they harvest planets to create a liquid that keeps them alive for tens of thousands of years and the current owner of Earth (played by Eddie Treymane channeling the actor Kevin Eldon from this Big Train sketch) wants to turn the people of Earth into goo and sell it to other Space Tories. You’ve got good guys, bad guys and a simple enough plotline to turn into a film.
But no, any actual genuine threat isn’t really made clear until 30 minutes into the film, and even then you couldn’t give a toss about any of the characters. Jupiter played by Mila Kunis is wooden and flat but Channing Tatum looks and acts like a block of spam nailed to a lump of wood, and both spot dialogue that’s simply dreadful but it isn’t til Sean Bean turns up in full Yorkshire mode (‘Cricket, peas, Sheffield, Utd, gravy, gravy, black pudding, Geoff Boycott!!!) that the film looks like it might perk up, but no, they give him terrible dialogue and the classic line ‘bees don’t lie‘.
By this point I stuck with the film to see if it went fully camp or deciding to plod on in this annoyingly pompous tone but no, it decided to plod on trying to pretend this all somehow meaningful when really it’s as meaningful as the last bowel movement I had or the last time I looked at the sky.
It’s not that Jupiter Ascending is a bad idea, but it’s so badly executed that at times I thought I was watching one of those alright fan-films that pop up at SF or comic conventions. There’s also no joy in this as at times it’s all so amazingly boring. Yes, it’s pretty but that’s it but by the end of the film I felt like I’d endured enough which was the opinion of a lot of people that sat through this. So I do wonder how on earth the Wachowski’s keep getting vast budgets to blow on films like this? I mean, at any level this script isn’t something that should have been given the go ahead to film, so what have they got apart from the Matrix to convince people that they can really write? They can direct, but in terms of writing it was clear from the first Matrix sequel that they could well have emptied the creative talent well out of fresh clean water and filled it with piss.
Feel free to judge for yourselves but I sat there thinking of better things I could have done in two hours. By the time I got to Sean Bean playing Han Solo I realised I could have been in a coma for a couple of hours and spent my time better.