So there are a lot of people who enjoyed this movie on a cheesy ridiculous crackish level. sapote
has a brief description
(spoilery, but that hardly matters, really) which I would say is a completely accurate summary
, but she liked it far more than I did. On Tumblr, Hello Tailor is excitedly posting promotional stills to demonstrate her enthusiasm
(I agree, the costuming and set pieces are fun). Someone else on Tumblr wrote this
I just saw Jupiter Ascending, which is a movie about an ORDINARY GIRL who HATES HER LIFE and finds out she’s a SPACE PRINCESS and falls in love with a WOLFMAN BOUNTY HUNTER who has ANGST because he LOST HIS ENORMOUS BEAUTIFUL BIONIC ANGEL WINGS.
It is every 14-year-old girl’s first novel made into a $100 million blockbuster action movie. It is ridiculous in all the best and worst ways and you need to go see it.
Which I agree is an accurate summary of the movie, and which I agree sounds so amazing
, but sadly no.
First, it differs from my 14-year-old novel fantasies in that Mila Kunis (Jupiter) doesn't actually do anything except look amazed and get saved. Repeatedly. Twice, in identical ways (it's a bizarre moment of deja vu - didn't we have this action sequence already? Is anyone editing this thing?) I had gone to the movie in hopes we'd get to see the same "chosen one" character arc for the heroine that we usually see for heroes (Matrix, Wanted, etc) - she finds some inner strength and special skill and grows into heroism. But. No. She just gets saved, and to the extent anyone has any kind of arc (mostly no one does) it's Channing Tatum.
Also, and I realize this is a minor thing, but the amount of makeup Kunis was wearing really annoyed me. When we first meet her, she's a cleaning lady. She's supposed to look run down and as unglamorous as possible, so she's got messy hair and she's wearing a ratty T-shirt and sweats and is cleaning the bathroom. But she's got makeup on like she's heading to a nightclub. It is actively distracting
(The movie really doesn't have a terrific amount of interest in its women. There are three major antagonists, and one of them is a woman. She's also the only antagonist who has no goal or motivation and she's scheming but we don't know what for. It's very unclear what she's up to, exactly.)
Second, as I look deep within myself, I realize that I'm totally fine with - and in fact encourage - ridiculous cheesy over the top premises and settings with outlandish fighting skills and DESTINY and CHOSEN ONES, but I am actually not
going to be entertained unless despite all of that, at the story's core, there are decently-written characters and relationships.
So, I think about Xena, and its gravity-defying stunts and outlandish storylines, and I freaking love
that show, and the reason I do is that the actual people
who inhabit this silly world are, fundamentally, recognizable as people, and the show actually does care about what they think and why they do what they do and how they interact with each other.
Jupiter Ascending ... does not have that. The dialogue is awful, there's no character development, and that's the point where my tolerance for cracky silliness ends.
Also not for nothing but does this movie signal that Hollywood is serious about trying to make beards on men fashionable again? Because if so I may have to avoid all media until the pendulum swings back to clean shaven.
Hmm. Is it time for a Xena rewatch?