‘Jupiter Ascending’ Review Roundup: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum Sci-Fi Saga Disappoints Critics
Jupiter Ascending, the latest blockbuster effort from The Wachowskis, stars Mila Kunis as the eponymous Jupiter Jones, Channing Tatum as genetically engineered ex-military hunter Caine Wise and Eddie Redmayne as the villainous Balem Abrasax.
When the movie begins, Jupiter is working as a caretaker, but her genetic signature marks make her a princess in another world. Caine swoops in to deliver her to her fate in the hopes that she can save the Cosmos from the sinister Balem.
‘Jupiter Ascending’ Reviews
Critics, who have remained hopeful about The Wachowskis projects since their groundbreaking The Matrix, have not taken kindly to their latest effort. In addition to clunky dialogue and overwrought performances, the movie fails to find its footing in its cross-genre premise.
“Jupiter Ascending, the $175 million space opera written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski, has a few moments of intentional humor. It has several more moments of unintentional humor. The plot of the movie is cursory at best, with a narrative coda so insipid it made my head hurt. The dialogue is comically bad (“Bees are genetically designed to respond to royalty”; “In our world genes have an almost spiritual significance”), and the action sequences are repetitive to the point of redundancy.” – Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
“Kunis should be in line for a Razzie for the soon-to-be classic bad scene in which she shoots down Redmayne’s effete ruler by screaming, “I’m not your damn mother.” Tatum has it best because he has the least dialogue. Mostly he flies around rescuing Jupiter from the same villains, who capture her back so the cycle can start again. This kind of pandering FX padding, unnurtured by humor or heart, is what shifts Jupiter Ascending from a shambles to a fiasco. In an effort to win back audiences by lowering their standards and their daring, the Wachowskis wind up where you never expected to find them creatively: on the ropes.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“It’s a botched, truncated and possibly unfinished film that began with big dreams and got dragged down by leaden commercial reality — a trilogy’s worth of space opera crammed into one movie and then abandoned on a frozen February weekend to be squashed by SpongeBob. Don’t let anybody tell you it’s one of the worst movies of the year or whatever, because that won’t remotely be true. But even the flashes of possibility in “Jupiter Ascending,” the myriad moments when it almost connects with its Platonic higher self, only heighten the sense of regret.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
“Jupiter Ascending is a sharp descent for everyone involved. The sci-fi film’s reported $175 million budget must have gone largely into loopy production design, wild costumes, outlandish hairstyles and colorful make-up. It certainly didn’t go into developing a coherent script or coaching believable. The story is laughably inane and uninvolving.” – Claudia Puig, USA Today