Review: Jupiter Ascending (2014)



Sibling writer-director duo The Wachowskis follow-up Cloud Atlas with preposterous and flavourless sci-fi fantasy Jupiter Ascending. Jupiter (Mila Kunis), a resentful maid, discovers she’s a reincarnated otherworldly space princess who – with the help of interplanetary warrior Caine (Channing Tatum) – must stop a tyrannical leader from harvesting Earth. As ambitious and well adorned as the film is (one or two of the set pieces are technically marvellous), that doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s absurd twaddle of the dullest kind. The script deliriously hurtles from one extreme to the other, through themes and distant worlds, but never eases up long enough to allow for depth or characterisation. Kunis and Tatum do what they can, but neither are helped by the material (Kunis, in particular, is left to squirm through dreadful dialogue). And the less said about Redmayne the better, his performance landing in the awkward space between composed and camp. There’s a lot to Jupiter Ascending, though it’s almost all embarrassingly tedious rather than entertaining.

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