With their seventh theatrical release, Jupiter Ascending, I got to wondering; do the Wachowskis still have it? The answer is a resounding maybe. I have yet to truly dislike a Wachowski movie (I haven’t seen Bound or Speed Racer), but in most people’s opinions they have yet to recapture the magic of The Matrix. [Ed: Personally I prefer Speed Racer over The Matrix ~Josh] That is true in some respects, but I think the platform of film is too small for their endeavors. When you look at a movie like Cloud Atlas that is chock full of ideas, and it runs at almost three hours, that is the amount of time needed to tell a story of such magnitude. Jupiter Ascending also falls into that category, but at a severe handicap. There are a few elements of the movie that could have been trimmed or cut altogether to help move the story along a little better, or further explain certain elements of the universe. This isn’t to say that Jupiter Ascending is a bad movie, in fact in my opinion it’s getting a bad rap now. It’s an enjoyable flick with plenty of action and an interesting story to tell.
Unfortunately, in two hours, the amount of story and depth packed into this thing is a little too much and it spills over the brim. I’d like to circle back around to earlier when I said that film was too small for them. A story like the one in Jupiter Ascending would be better suited for a mini-series. For example a lot of the movie’s back story is laid out in a few sentences. The impact of the antagonist’s actions throughout the universe would have been an excellent subplot. I’ve been hearing that a lot of people are having trouble following the convoluted plot, but it’s not that hard to follow, it is just packed in there so much that it can be easy to miss things.
The only issues I have with it are Channing Tatum’s magical roller blades; yes he has futuristic roller blade boots that he moves around in just like roller blades. If he had some sort of rocket boots it would have been better and the people next to me wouldn’t have been so annoyed by the sound of my eyes rolling. My other complaint, which could be resolved with another viewing, is the fact that the movie seemed to go back and forth from a serious space adventure with something to say, to a tongue in cheek satire set in space. Either would be fine, but trying to pull off both is a little off putting. If you have a different take on that please let me know.
If this is good or bad I leave that choice up to you. Should you see it? Yes, because there is a lot of chatter going around right now that there should be more support for original sci-fi movies coming out. You want more movies like Edge of Tomorrow and even Jupiter Ascending, then you should go see this movie. You want more movies, go to this movie. I liked it, but this review is only one person’s opinion, so I implore you to make your own decision and don’t be afraid of whatever that might be.