By STEPHANIE SUN
Jupiter Ascending tells the story of Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) and her ascent to greatness. Growing up, Jupiter is an ordinary house cleaner in Chicago until an evil group of aliens attempt to murder her while she visits the gynecologist’s. Caine Wise (Channing Tatum,) a genetically engineered half-wolf half-human hunter, arrives to Earth, proceeds to defend her and introduces her to her fate. Jupiter is revealed to have the same genetic signature as the dead matriarch of alien royalty and is set to become the owner of Earth. Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne,) the eldest of the royal family, schemes to murder Jupiter in order to gain control of the profitable planet. Jupiter Jones struggles to stay alive and do what she believes is right with her newfound status and power.
The film was initially slated to open in the summer of 2014, but Warner Bros. pushed it back six months to continue polishing its special effects. Written, produced and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski, best known for their work on The Matrix franchise, Jupiter Ascending is an aesthetic pleasure. The space opera, a play on the term “soap opera,” is created with the help of computer-generated imagery, presenting a most awe-inducing setting for a genre known for its incredible visual style. Alien fashion also adds to the beauty of the movie because the costumes are so stunning, especially Jupiter’s dresses and Balem’s dramatic black cape. More than 1.3 million Swarovski crystals were used for 34 of the outfits for the film, and a few hundred of the crystals were used for jewelry or sewn across a field.
After its second weekend in theaters, Jupiter Ascending earned $32.6 million, only nineteen percent of its $176 million production budget. On Rotten Tomatoes, the two hour and seven minute long movie has a 23% freshness. Many have criticized the film for its convoluted plot and incoherent writing. The action scenes rely heavily on special effects and tend to run long. The film’s longest sequence is eight minutes long, and the actors had to film parts of it every day for six months.
Mina Rhee (Jr.) enjoyed Jupiter Ascending. When asked her opinions of the plot, she said “I know that superficially Jupiter Ascending is a ‘bad’ movie – it has terrible characters and a laughable plot – but both in spite of and because of that I love Jupiter Ascending because it’s so ridiculously over the top that I can’t help but enjoy it.”
While presenting fantastic visuals, the movie has multiple side plotlines, many of which are never fully concluded. Other than a few requests to learn about space and why she is being targeted, Jupiter does not question the situations she is launched into and seems to fit in fairly well. Furthermore, characters whose motives or allegiances were never clear are never seen again. Overall, the audience leaves the film in awe of its effects but with the inability to remember the whole plot or properly examine its themes.