Jupiter Ascending, the latest science fiction film from the creators of The Matrix (the Wachowskis'), creates a world in which the rich are reincarnated, people are spliced with animal DNA, and human beings are processed for their life force to keep them young.
Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis; Ted, Black Swan) has a boring, miserable life. All day long she works with her mother scrubbing toilets and cleaning house, dreaming of a better life. When her cousin presents her with an opportunity to make some money by donating her eggs at a fertility clinic she jumps at the chance. Unbeknownst to her, this certain fertility clinic is overrun with aliens, called the Keepers, who are on a mission to kill her. Before they are able to do their dastardly deed, Jupiter's savior arrives in the form of a spliced wolf/human hybrid named Caine Wise (Channing Tatum; White House Down, 21 Jump Street). The duo then proceed to navigate the galaxy meeting strange creatures and beings, running from enemies, and try to claim Jupiter Jones's birthright, which it turns out is quiet large.
Every film the Wachowskis release is always known for its originality (excluding Speed Racer), and Jupiter Ascending is chock full of this uniqueness to the nth degree. It is so full of ideas that the story actually gets lost in them, and becomes so confusing, that one is left just mindlessly watching the story unfold and daydreaming of when the film will either make sense or be finished. The Wachowskis appear to have thrown every literary allusion they could come up with into the film. At some parts you feel that Jupiter Jones is Dorothy from Oz with her dog Toto (Caine Wise), and at other times you feel you are in an extended universe of Terry Gilliam's Brazil (who incidentally has a brief cameo).
With Jupiter Ascending's story being an utter loss, it is up to the actors, the action, and the set designs to try to hold up the film, and on some level, each of these succeed on their own; however, as a whole unit, it completely fails. Mila Kunis appears to be just "going through-the-motions" and not putting much effort into her role. Channing Tatum and the supporting cast including Sean Bean (Goldeneye), Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything), Tuppence Middleton (The Imitation Game), and Douglas Booth (Noah) try as much as possible to help the film come to life and pour some amazing performances in their roles, especially Eddie Redmayne as the completely insane Balem Abrasax.
The other two pillars trying to hold the film up (the action, and the set designs) are mind-blowing and unique. Every detail possible is shown in the costumes and the world the creatures of this universe occupy. As expected, the action is just wild and over-the-top. The Chicago chase scene is simply the next step in the bullet-time process the Wachowskis created so long ago for The Matrix and will leave you with a glee full smile of an insane asylum resident after watching it. You can tell the bloated budget of the film went into these two areas. However, it is a shame they didn't take some of that money and bring in a script doctor.
As with most current Blu-ray release, Jupiter Ascending, has an amazing video transfer encoded in AVC 1080p. The bright colorful world the Wachowskis created leaps off the television screen transferring you into their world. Rounding out your trip to the Wachowskis' universe is an ear-splitting, amazing Dolby Atmos soundtrack that lets you hear every explosion, blast, and ship in all its glory.
Through the past few years, it has been a tradition that Blu-ray's are very light on special features and extra. Thankfully Warner Bros has done a reversal on this tradition and beefed up their collection of special features on their discs. Jupiter Ascending is no exception. The Blu-ray disc hosts seven featurettes about various aspects of the film which gives a deeper insight into what the Wachowskis were trying to convey with their film, and the work it took to get there.
While Jupiter Ascending shows small moments of brilliance throughout its 125 minute run-time, it isn't enough to pull this mess out of the black hole of bad science fiction space opera films that should never had been made. It is a shame, too, because even though it is bloated and confusing, at least the Wachowskis made an original film instead of a comic-book movie or a sequel.