Whenever the Wachowskis are releasing a movie, there will be massive debates over their work.
While many critics claim that they have grown worse and worse ever since releasing “The Matrix” in 1999, I usually tend to disagree and enjoy their movies at least to a certain extent.
To be fair, one has to acknowledge that with the Wachowskis you will always get “unique” movies insofar as that they will certainly not be to everyone’s personal taste. This is due to the fact that these two produce creative movies that are, usually, one-of-a-kind and seem to be too complex and intellectual for the mere popcorn fraction – but not compelling and progressive enough for the purely intellectual audiences.
However, my personal opinion is that with Jupiter Ascending, the Wachowskis hit it out of the ballpark, if I may use this sports metaphor.
JA is a fascinating movie full of gorgeous cinematography with not only breath-taking CGI, but some rather artsy camera angles and dolly shots. On the whole, the art department of JA completely nailed it. You see spaceships containing solar arrays that could have been taken directly from one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions.
You see worlds so believable and distinctively unique that you feel they could really exist (unlike the overly conceptual world in James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster “Avatar”) and the whole universe created by the Wachowskis feels – plausible. I have not experienced this effect in a Sci-Fi- movie since I first watched Star Wars.
The acting was believable throughout the movie, and I felt Channing Tatum and Eddie Redmayne did a great job portraying their respective characters especially. Tatum’s haunted looks and body language fit his character nicely while Redmayne’s character really came across as bipolar and sinister as that of the Dark Emperor in Star Wars.
The story itself is much more complex than most reviews give it credit for: it is not only about the former cleaning lady Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) getting to know she is the reincarnation of an industrialist who owned large portions of the known universe. It is not only about mankind not rooting from planet Earth (though I liked to see the scientific theory of Panspermia being implemented).
It is not only about genetic engineering and the “splicing” of genomes in order to artificially create perfect soldiers, spies etc. It is not only about a gender reversal of “The Matrix”, as Jupiter discovers the true nature of mankind’s history, the Earth and her role as being chosen – it is about all of this and then some.
There have been so many intertextual references in this movie, so many aspects of human life that have been explored at least peripherally (dare I say that the scenes regarding interstellar bureaucracy were incredibly funny and presented a vivid social criticism of nowadays’ system?) and even quite a few winks at actual scientific theories, that it astonished me none of the critics ever cared writing about them.
One example of the Wachowskis’ subtle implementation of scientific matters (or rather, playing with these) is the scene in which Jupiter is brought to Stinger’s home by Caine. Stinger, who has been genetically “spliced” and is partly bee-esque, had to retire from his military duties at Aegis, the interstellar military force, and now lives his life as an apiculturist on the outskirts of Chicago.
As Jupiter joins the scenery, all of the bees suddenly fly around her and appear to be defending her from whatever (or whoever) comes close to her. As Stinger explains, bees can instinctively feel royalty in a living being and bows down on his knees as he addresses Jupiter, “Her Majesty”.
Cain, as well as Stinger, did not know about the details of their orders beforehand and thus have not had any idea that Jupiter was the reincarnation of the matriarch of the Abrasax family, who reigns supreme over vast parts of known space.
Keeping that in mind it definitely reminds one of Einstein’s theories of mankind becoming extinct as soon as the bees have died out. Granted, Einstein’s chain of events foresaw the bees going extinct leading to less plants eventually leading to our extinction.
However, in this case, bees have helped (Terran) mankind to survive. Had it not been for them would Caine and Stinger have brought Jupiter to her sibling Titus Abrasax, who would have killed her after marrying her in order to receive the Earth as his heritage thus enabling him to “harvest” the planet.
This “harvest” is, eventually, the central element of this movie even though it is never shown. As it was stated by Jupiter’s sister, Kalique Abrasax, whole planets are harvested in order to liquefy their inhabitants and gaining a fluid that enables those who bath in it a regeneration of their cells on molecular basis – a fountain of youth, if you will, and yet another intertextual reference. Google “Siegfried” for more information.
The only criticism I tend to agree with is that JA might have been overly ambitious for a movie only weighing in at roughly two hours of screen time. There are numerous plot lines within this movie, and not all of them are picked up and interwoven cleanly at the end of Jupiter Ascending.
This is, however, not a real problem, as JA can perfectly stand as a one-piece movie in itself. Adding to that is the notion that JA might be explored as a completely new franchise for WB and the Wachowskis, thus enabling the missing information to be included in a potential sequel.
I do not understand why people criticize Jupiter Ascending so strongly, as this movie is, at least to my belief, the most complex and well-rounded Sci-Fi-flick since the first Star Wars movie came around in 1977.
I rate this movie with 9/10 stars.
Source: Das-Virus2002 -imdb