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032: Jupiter Ascending feat. Paul4AllSeasons

Maximilian Rivera November 1, 2016
By Max Rivera | @MaxRiveraFilm

Premise: A young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26%


What happens when you take Cinderella and toss it in a vitamix with Star Wars? If you turn it up to high, you get this week’s film — the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending (2015). We’re joined by Paul4AllSeasons, artist, gamer, and streamer, to discuss this adolescent female fantasy space opera.

Right off the bat, we could tell that this film would at least be a visual treat. While most of the sets were CG, they were well crafted and a lot of artistry went into them.

The film is campy, but not intentionally so. Sometimes it feels like it knows this, like in the bureaucracy sequence, which was one of the funnier sequences. Of course, these scenes were almost lifted directly from the style and tone of Hitchhiker’s (it kind of somehow worked here, too). There are other concepts that are funny, yet not treated funny. For example, sky rollerblading should be played up for laughs, same for the human-hybrids of Caine and Stinger.


Yeah, if that sounds confusing, it only gets weirder. You can tell there is a wealth of backstory behind this film, and whats revealed in this film could have worked with more nuanced filmmaking.

However, the story here only barely makes sense — they ask the audience to make a lot of leaps of faith. Not all of these leaps pay off, and sometimes you find yourself mid-leap without a jumping off point. While we could see Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis playing a romance in almost any film, they don’t feel the greatest fit for a cerebral space opera in the Wachowski’s style.


Also, what the hell is Eddie Redmayne doing in this film? While I watched his performance with horror on our initial viewing, it has grown on me as one of the campiest things I’ve ever seen in cinema. Like a drag queen Voldemort, Redmayne plays the role with a hair trigger that takes his whispery voice to a bellowing yell. You never know what you’re getting when he’s on screen.

Although there are a lot of strange casting choices, Eddie Redmayne gave this film the performance to end all performances — so at least there’s that. Maybe we just weren’t the core audience for Jupiter. That’s fine — we still found ourselves hopeful for a sequel.

If there is a saving grace to this film, it’s that it’s unique enough to be memorable. Whether that memory is good or bad is really up to the viewer, though. 


If there’s anything to take away from this film, it’s that you can’t always string together some well-known stars into a high concept script and expect gold. You’ll get something, alright, but it’s not necessary gold.

​Or you can just take away that bees don’t lie.

Max is a marketing copywriter by day, filmmaker and screenwriter by night. He resides in Charlotte, NC, and loves his dogs, watching movies, building LEGO sets, and eating food. Lots of food.You can find Max at his personal website and twitter.