#REVIEW: “JUPITER ASCENDING”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
The Greeks had it right from the start. When you’re telling a Story filled with big ideas, you must keep the Narrative simple. The central Character acts as guide through a world of ineffable wonders. Youthful Listeners follow with ease, and many see the forest for the trees. There’s something for everyone, but for some there is more, it depends on how open you are to receive it.
I say that to say this, Mythology of all kinds help guide us through the Wachowski Siblings latest Film, Jupiter Ascending. Starring Mila Kunis (as Jupiter), the Story begins with her wrist deep in toilet water and eager to catch a break. Born of lowly stock she struggles to live life beneath the Chicago stars. That is until Channing Tatum and his pointy pup ears whisk her away in a spaceship. Caught off-guard in more ways than one, Jupiter soon comes to learn that she is the reincarnation of a Legend that echoes throughout the galaxies.
Like the Greeks saw, we see: Gods among Men, power beyond belief, life beyond years and within beings only dreamed of. And yet there they are, and so is Jupiter, caught in a war of roses. Her foes are plentiful, and all related: Tuppence Middleton, Douglas Booth and Eddie Redmayne act as her Adversaries. Members of a cosmic ruling Caste who crave a questionable currency.
There are other Castes as well, a Hindu-esque approach to existence. One that only the Wachowskis would work into a simple Plot. You know: Girl meets Boy, errr Dog… whatever, and together they save the World. And yet, as that movement bursts forth before your eyes you glimpse the profound in the distance. About how life is consumption, like Plato’s Ouroboros. (Picture a snake eating its tail to symbolize immortality). Life goes on even though death follows and Jupiter quickly learns this.
The Picture is painted by many masters, and like a Rembrandt, signed by one. Well two, the Wachowskis offer a plethora of familiar touches. Like Mechs and Manga fashion. Steampunk elements, and Cyberpunk elements, and a philosophical tone that hums along with their tongue-in-cheek elements.
New effects from Ironhead Studios (Oblivion, Tron: Legacy) are paired with the photography efforts of John Toll (Cloud Atlas, Braveheart). Costuming is extravagant, functional, and some of it is even avant garde. Kym Barrett, who designed costumes for the Matrix Trilogy and Romeo + Juliet can be thanked for this. And the Cast and Crew who took a chance on something so imaginative need to be recognized for taking a chance on something unconventional. Because not everyone is going to like this Film, but for those who do, it will blossom.
Eddie Redmayne’s brooding darkness is charming. Douglas Booth is equally alluring. Tatum appears like a Beast, but he moves with a poetry that only a Dancer could. Mila Kunis is the perfect Lead. She is the one who soars through the stars towards the enchanting ending. It’s whimsical, it’s a joy to watch, and it’s appreciated by Fans of the Wachowskis’ Work. No matter how strange, no matter how simple, they’re always told with a style swimming in substance. Their latest is in theatres now. Take the blue pill and ascend with Jupiter. .
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release JUPITER ASCENDING on Friday, February 6, 2015.