Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jupiter Ascending (Part 2 of 2)

 Jupiter Ascending (Part 2 of 2)
Michael Giacchino is the composer and it is one of the best things in the movie. Giacchino 's score is very good and stands out as the shining aspect in a steaming turd. The chorus gives the movie an epic feel with some powerful themes. The score is very catchy with some strong themes. Trust me when I say that the bombastic music gives this movie an edge. It seems to be the only thing the directors cared about other than the visuals and makeup and it shows. Make sure to take a listen.
So what about the leading star of the movie Mila Kunis?
Mila does three things in this movie. She gets captured, whispers a lot and falls a lot. For a movie that is centered around her character. She isn't as active as Neo in the Matrix. And, that is interesting because she also discovers her mundane world is just a front for a bigger universe. Plus, the movie goes out of its way to tell us how important Jupiter Jones is to this expansive world. Yet, the makes her such a passive character that it becomes rather boring and unappealing.
Everything happens around her, but she doesn't seem to have a say in the action.
And, she makes some wrong choices in her acting. There are times when she is channeling the actors from Twilight with her deadpan delivery. I know that the production intended to have Natalie Portman as Jupiter, but she dropped out thankfully for her. Mila took over. I am guessing Natalie didn't want to be attached to another poorly written franchise. While Mila Kunis is very cute, she isn't right for this part and it shows. You can never get a hint at what is she going for here, but you could blame that on bad direction too.
Like Lucas, the directors seem to make bad casting choices.
Let's go to Channing Tatum. His character is part werewolf and part human. And, it looks really silly. Now, let's talk about his space skates. I know they wanted to make it look cool that Channing flies around with floating and flying skates, but it looks stupid...really stupid. The effects just don't seem right and a bit off in some shots. Plus, having a skating hero feels very 90s. I know it goes back to this Japanese animation style of having an extreme sports hero, but it doesn't work in the more epic setting. There are times when it looks very bad and it is in the movie all the time.
Despite the flying boots, Channin does okay as the second lead, despite the fact he's more of the hero than Jupiter and she IS the title character. I feel that the “siblings” tried their best to push forward a super strong male lead to bring in the female crowd, but in turn weak the main female lead, which this story was supposed to be about. I also have to give Channing credit for dealing with explaining more of the dumber things to Jupiter with a straight face. Even when it doesn't make sense, he appears to believe it.
Now, the worst and unintentionally funny person is Eddie Redmayne. What is that strange whisper voice he does throughout the movie? Are we supposed laugh at the main bad guy? And, what was his motivation? Eddie Redmayne's voice is the worst thing about the movie. It is that bad.
With Mila not having much to do in her own movie, there really isn't much to cheer for. And, they even add in her family being captured into the story almost as a last second thought. The movie feels like a weaker clone of their Matrix movies with worst off-decisions that almost make this a unintentional comedy. The strong score does save this movie on some levels, but not enough. Sadly, The Wachowskis have fallen into the same trap as George Lucas and that M. Knight guy. The visuals and outfits are outstanding though. However, the movie simply is a failure on a grand scale.
Grade: D

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