Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending is what happens when a 10-year-old girl writes a screenplay and then Hollywood throws millions of dollars at her. The result is a gloriously cheesy space opera where the doe-eyed (but smart!) protagonist with an unenviable life is hurled into an adventure with a broodingly handsome and achingly lonely disgraced soldier. As he gravity-skates his way over the dead bodies of the various aliens who try to kill her, she develops feelings for him--but will her newfound true identity keep them apart?

(falls over laughing)

But let's keep it 100. Jupiter Ascending has peerless special effects, bombastic costumes and set designs, and an appropriately operatic soundtrack. The plot and dialogue are ridiculous, but boy is it a feast for the eyes and ears. And besides, its unintentional hilarity is a plus in this bleak world of ours. "Bees sense royalty," is a line that I have folded into a pocket in my heart, to be taken out and laughed at in moments of darkness. 

Silly and beautiful though it is, this movie does deal with a serious theme, albeit with an utter lack of subtlety (subtlety does not belong here anyway). Knowing nothing about the movie except that nerd ladies loved it, I found its framing of capitalism interesting, intertwined as it was in such a delicious and deadly family drama. 

The cast is terrific, with baby Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne standing out as the eldest of the feuding Abrasax siblings. His Balem is hard but almost languid, and he sounds like he's yawning out every sentence--until he suddenly starts yelling, that is. Meanwhile, Douglas Booth is memorable because his face is beautiful, oh my god what a hottie. As for the leads, Mila Kunis is charming, especially when she tries to get closer to her reticent and conflicted protector.  And Chan-chan just handsomes his way through everything, which is what we gave our money for. Also: Sean Bean is in this! Start taking bets now on whether or not his character survives!

TL;DR: A visually stunning space opera begging to be Rifftraxed. 

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