The Wachowski's have always had a unique approach when it comes to making films. Better yet, it has pretty much always (with very few exceptions) worked... and worked well. Their latest cinematic endeavour, Jupiter Ascending, is bold, audacious and ambitious. That's all it is though.

The biggest let down of this film just has to be the fact that this has SO much potential to be amazing. And it starts off brilliantly too! It's looking like another The Matrix for the Wachowski's but, then, it just comes tumbling down in a wreck. It's a shame, really.

One family, The House of Abrasax, has ruled every habitable planet in the universe for over a Millenia. When its matriarch dies though, the three heirs - Balem, Kalique and Titus - go to war for the power. Down on Earth, we have Mila Kunis' Jupiter Jones, just an average young girl that, born under the stars, dreams of the stars and of a life of greatness but, in reality, wakes up to a cold, harsh life of cleaning toilets and just trying to get by.

However, it's only when Channing Tatum's genetically engineered ex-military hunter Caine Wise arrives to track her down, that she realises that she was destined for great things; her genetic signature making her the next in line for an extraordinary fate and power that could change her life but also the Galaxy. All the while, he has to protect her from Balem, who will go to any length to make sure he doesn't lose Earth to Jones, even putting a bounty on her head.

Again, this goes straight back to the whole potential theme. On paper, the premise for this sounds great: fun and brimming with ingenuity. However, it just never hits and, in the end, is but a weakly handled, poorly scripted mess that just so occasionally glimmers with hope and the possibility of breaking out from its shell before losing you again. It's not all bad though as the film does have its good qualities every now and then.

For starters, this looks gorgeous! It's a beautifully shot, visually stunning cinematic experience - even more so in glorious IMAX. The action sequences too are just so brilliantly captured and it can be fun to watch here and there. It's a bold, imaginative film but with little actual substance it quickly becomes tedious and, quite frankly, boring. Sure, it's rather silly and unusual but it's not actually that bad a film; it has its moments. You can go see this film and you may even have a good time. People need to cut it some slack.

As far as the acting goes, Channing Tatum is the best thing about this film. He's a really great actor and does a good job as our unearthly protagonist. He's wearing prosthetic ears and looks ridiculous but Tatum is so good that we believe everything about him and really root for him.

He also shares some great moments with Sean Bean, who pops up and has sheds some light on plot details every so often. The two of them are great. It's just a bit disappointing that we don't get to see more of that aspect. However, that's about it because, other than Caine, all our characters are so under-developed and disposable.

Then we come to Mila Kunis. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of hers. I think she's a decent actress and lovely to look at. She's always fine in her roles but, whilst she's prettier than ever, Kunis is just not good in Jupiter Ascending. There's just no emotion from her. Her character has fallen into the hands of such immense power, with the possibility of changing EVERYTHING. She does not sell that. It's as if she can't be bothered. She doesn't care, so why should we? It's bad casting, more than anything. From the word go, Kunis just seems out of place and her character is slammed with such crap development that it hinders the proceedings even more.

But, that's not even the worst of it. The film's antagonist is played by Eddie Redmayne. He gave one of the best performances of the year only last month, in the astounding The Theory of Everything. The man is nominated for an Oscar, for crying out loud. He has talent. I'm not exaggerating though, when I say that his performance in this is one of the worst of the year. Not only is the performance extremely camp but he's not even remotely threatening. He talks in such a stupid voice and it's just embarrassing to watch such a brilliant man throw away his incredible talents for... well, this. You're better than this Eddie.

Bold and ambitious, Jupiter Ascending aims true but never quite hits. In the end, it's an underdeveloped clutter of beauty and stupidity that's periodically entertaining but never enough to to be of any importance.

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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