I will attempt to review a more recent film in 500 words or less. Think I can do it? That’s good, ‘cause I sure don't! Let’s go:
The Wachowski Starship are a constant source of fascination to me. Their ideas are always big, immersive and grand, but their execution…needs a bit of work. Still, they’ve made great movies and they’ve made terrible movies and really haven’t seemed to make middling ones. This film is the latter of the first two.
Jupiter Ascending is an incredibly incompetent movie from pretty much every level. Our heroine is set up in a pretty interesting way, only to throw that goodwill out by going on about how unimportant she is despite having majesty over bees (yeah that happens). The villains are set up like game bosses and none of them are remotely threatening. The effects look terrible and the movie is so oversaturated everything looks fake. Scenes are either overdone or underplayed, there’s no real balance in the direction or tone. The world has a lot of establishment but not building. None of the characters are remotely likeable, particularly Mina Kunis who either has terrible direction or is not suited to be a lead. All in all, the film is a mess.
And it is glorious.
Seriously, put away all critical faculties, and all that stupid ‘thinky’ stuff we mere mortals do, and this film is kind of a blast. Yes, it’s silly, but in that wonderful sugar high sort of way. The animal hybrids are dumb, but dumb in a way that you kind of fall in love with Channing Tatum as a dog person and Sean Bean as a bee person (a Sean Bean Bee, if you will).
The action is poorly choreographed and shot, but it’s like a badly designed rollercoaster; you know you’re gonna get hurt, so you might as well enjoy it. The dialogue is stupid, but with lines like ‘I like dogs’ and ‘bees don’t lie’, and ANYTHING Eddie Redmayne says, who really cares?
Oh yeah, Academy Award winning actor Eddie Redmayne is in this film and he is terrible! If this film came out when it meant to, he would not have won. But my God, is it an amazing sort of terrible. Everything he said made me giggle by his awkward delivery and stilted tone, to the point where I actually burst out laughing.
Honestly, the worst thing about this movie is that you kind of see the potential. There are a lot of interesting ideas trying to get across, like commentary on humanity being farmed by privileged people of power, and the insane lengths of corporate design, and people being programmed to undervaluing themselves, and so on. It was clearly lost somewhere, be it studio mandating or the Wachowskis being better idea people than storytellers. With a movie this so goddamn fun, though, it’s one of those cases where creativity and brains were sacrificed for just a plain old entertaining ride.
If you can forgive Sharknado or whatever Fast and the Furious movie they’re on now for being deliberately stupid, you can forgive a movie for being accidentally so.
Rating: 5/10 (serious) 8/10 (fun)
|This shot is, admittedly, awesome. The movie has some creativity behind it,|
but these reviews are meant to be short, so I didn't get into it.