Jupiter Ascending review: 'rotten CGI, pointless 3D and an incomprehensible plot'
Sci-Fi. Starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Tuppence Middleton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, James D’Arcy, Douglas Booth, Maria Doyle Kennedy. Directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski. Cert 12A
Dear Lord, it seems like such a long time ago since the Wachowski siblings were one of the hottest teams in Hollywood, with their debut feature Bound followed by the groundbreaking work that was The Matrix. Two increasingly rotten sequels to the latter were followed by the hyperactive headwreck of Speed Racer and the bonkers adaptation of the unfilmable Cloud Atlas and now, alas, we’ve come to this.
It’s rarely a good sign when a big-budget epic with a topline cast is bumped from a planned July release to the wintry wastelands of early February but, in all honesty, a slow week for new releases is probably the only way Warner Brothers have of clawing back even a fraction of their investment in this farce.
A sci-fi mash-up so dumb it makes Flash Gordon look like Solaris, this thoroughly preposterous yarn centres around a Russian-born toilet cleaner Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), who’s suddenly informed that she’s some sort of alien princess and actually entitled to rule Earth but members of her intergalactic family are trying to have her killed. Chief among these are Balem (Eddie Redmayne) and Titus (Douglas Booth) but, luckily for her, hunky former Space Legionnaire Caine (Channing Tatum) arrives in his gravity-defying boots to save her in an effort to get his wings back, literally.
Rotten CGI, pointless 3D and an incomprehensible plot which involves lots of Kunis apparently falling to her doom only to have Tatum swoop to her rescue makes you wonder how on earth this ever got past its initial pitch. Really, any film which has Sean Bean – who’s had to utter some pretty rubbish lines in his time – say “Bees recognise royalty. Bees don’t lie” with a straight face is teetering on the edge of parody.