“Jupiter Ascending” takes off

MOVIE REVIEW- Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum prepare for cosmic warfare 

By Amanda Cavarretta, Copy Editor 

SHE ROSE TO THE OCCASION - Jupiter (Mila Kunis) goes from ordinary girl to galactic/corporate queen in "Jupiter Ascending," the new sci-fi adventure from the Wachowskis. Warner Bros. Pictures

SHE ROSE TO THE OCCASION – Jupiter (Mila Kunis) goes from ordinary girl to galactic/corporate queen in “Jupiter Ascending,” the new sci-fi adventure from the Wachowskis.

The battle has begun for our planet. Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis star in“Jupiter Ascending,” a sci-fi fantasy directed by the creators of “The Matrix,” Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Working as a maid in Chicago, Jupiter Jones (Kunis) discovers she is the reincarnation of a long-dead alien queen. She must claim what is rightfully hers, Earth, before the queen’s still-living progeny manage to kill her for the inheritance. 

Caine (Tatum), a human-wolf warrior with flying moon boots, embarks on a mission to find Jupiter. Seeking help to fight for the planet Caine, joins forces with a fellow hybrid friend, Stinger (Sean Bean), for the inevitable showdown.

The plot of “Jupiter Ascending” felt rushed and trifling.  There was no time to develop its elements or storyline, especially with the amount of dialogue and plot movement involved with criticism of corporate ethics and motivations – running the universe as a business.

With the characters shallowly drawn, Caine and Jupiter’s chemistry seemed forced and superficial. Their relationship development was predictable, and moved slowly.  Jupiter tries to make moves on the pointy eared Caine, but is rejected several times. The humor fell flat generally, though it did have its moments. When Jupiter expresses interest in Caine, he says, “Your majesty, I have more in common with a dog than I have with you.” She replies, “I love dogs, I’ve always loved dogs!”

The costume design is out of this world. Jupiter’s flannel shirts are ditched after she discovers she is royalty. According to “In Style,” more than 1.3 million Swarovski crystals were used to create 34 astonishing costumes for the film (including almost 30 different crystal cuts). Eyes will have trouble leaving Jupiter’s jaw-dropping ruby embedded wedding gown. She wore a detailed head piece and perfectly matching eye shadow to compliment her dress – a supernova girl’s dream. As for Tatum … yes, he takes his shirt off. 

The movie beams with impressive visual effects. Battles take place in Chicago and far-off galaxies. Historical landmarks such the Sears Tower and the diamond-shaped Crain Communications Building layer familiarity against the futuristic elements of the story. It’s awesome watching spaceships fly along the Chicago River and zoom under a bridge past Miller’s Pub. Watching the film in 3D definitely enhances the entertainment value. The battle scenes will keep your attention, with explosions and broken spaceships soaring from the screen to your seat. 

If you’re heading to the movies this weekend, don’t waste your money seeing “Jupiter Ascending” in 2D. Spend the extra bucks to see this film in 3D to get the fullest effect. While I did love the big budget the Wachowski siblings had to make this film, it’s clear what type of people will go out to see the film. Space nerds. Wachowski fans. And Channing Tatum freaks.

2 stars (out of 5)

“Jupiter Ascending” opens Friday, Feb.6 nationwide.

Rated PG-13 (for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity), Running time: 127 minutes

Warner Brothers
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