A movie review of “Jupiter Ascending”: This sci-fi misfire from the Wachowski siblings gives us Channing Tatum as a sky-skating super soldier trying to save the heroine (Mila Kunis) from perils past counting. Rating: 1 star out of 4.
It’s always a bad sign when a movie is moved off of a much-ballyhooed prime summer release date. It’s a worse sign when that release is pushed to February, a month long regarded as a dumping ground for less-than-prime-time Hollywood product.
When it comes to “Jupiter Ascending,” believe the signs. This movie is worse than bad.
Let’s try “epically awful” on for size. “Insanely bloated”; that works.
Movie Review ★
‘Jupiter Ascending,’ with Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne. Directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski, from a screenplay by the Wachowskis. 127 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity. Several theaters.
Me, I’ll settle for “just plain silly.”
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Seems like the Wachowski siblings, Andy and Lana, had just one really good movie in them, and that was “The Matrix.” It’s been downhill ever since.
Moved from last summer to now, ostensibly because the special effects needed further tweaking, “Jupiter” gives us Channing Tatum, frequently shirtless and sporting pointy Spock ears, crashing through gargantuan CG sci-fi sets on rocket-powered sky skates, saving a screaming Mila Kunis from perils past counting.
Kunis’ character, Jupiter Jones, is queen of the universe, though she doesn’t know it at the start. When we’re introduced to her, she’s on her knees swabbing toilets. A humble immigrant house cleaner in Chicago — but with fabulously barbered eyebrows and glamour girl lashes — she learns of her grand destiny when Tatum’s character comes busting in from outer space in the nick of time to save her from being murdered by spindly aliens.
One of the most passive heroines the movies have ever seen, Jupiter requires saving again and again and again, screaming all the while. Kunis brings Fay Wray-grade lung power to her shrieking.
Jupiter has the DNA of an ancient galactic queen and will inherit the universe unless the dead queen’s epicene offspring can kill or co-opt her, and only Tatum’s wolf-hybrid (hence the pointy ears) sky-skating super soldier can save her.
The CG sets look like rejects from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and the dialogue … Sigh, the dialogue.
He (alluding to his wolf DNA): “Your Majesty, I have more in common with a dog than I have with you.”
She (simpering): “I love dogs. I’ve always loved dogs.”
Bow. And wow.