Chick’s Pick: Jupiter Ascending

HOLY FUCK. Jupiter Ascending is the latest lovingly-crafted garbage pile from the Wachowskis, purveyors of previously-crafted garbage piles like Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas. Oh and yeah also the Matrix movies, ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL GARBAGE PILE TRILOGIES OF ALL TIME. Actually I kinda like the first Matrix, even though it came out when I was like five.

bullet meme

So you gotta hand it to the Wachowskis. THEY KNOW HOW TO MAKE A COOL-LOOKING MOVIE. I mean Jupiter Ascending looks fucking great. Not only that, they make movies that look fucking awesome AND ALSO don’t look like anything else you’ve seen before. THIS IS CALLED ORIGINALITY TAKE A FUCKING MEMO, HOLLYWOOD. The Wachowskis are all like, “We’ve seen all your spaceships, your spaceships fucking suck. Our spaceships are gonna look like CHURCHES WITH LASER WINGS so get the fuck out of here with your dumbass flying saucer rocket spaceships.” Damn I like their dedication to being fucking different. This kind of originality has made them INFLUENTIAL MOTHERFUCKERS. The Matrix spawned so many fucking ripoffs, the Wachowskis would have been able to buy A REAL-LIFE FLYING SPACE CATHEDRAL if they were actually collecting royalties.

Not the Matrix.

Not the Matrix.

So anyway Jupiter Ascending is gorgeous. But much like Mila Kunis, who has to hold down this turd fountain, Jupiter Ascending‘s beauty is skin-deep. Seriously let’s just start with Mila Fucking Kunis. This poor girl, what the fuck did she think she was signing up for here? IT’S LIKE SHE’S IN A DIFFERENT MOVIE FROM EVERYONE ELSE. Someone needs to fire her fucking agent FOR REAL. Mila Kunis is in this movie all like, “Gee I thought it was weird that the Wachowskis wanted to direct Forgetting Sarah Marshall 2 but it’s even weirder that the studio let them set it in outer space. Seems like an odd creative choice but OH WELL I’LL JUST FUCKING ROLL WITH IT.” Did ANYONE advise Mila Kunis that this is an epic, over-the-top space opera by the FUCKING WACHOWSKIS? You gotta bring your A-GAME, girlfriend. You are FLYING THROUGH FUCKING SPACE WITH TALKING DRAGON PEOPLE and you are acting like this is some kind of wacky romantic comedy, dick jokes and goofy misunderstandings included. Mila Kunis, honestly: you are super hot and the truth is you’re a pretty good actress BUT WHAT THE FUCK?!? I don’t know who to blame here. Macaulay Culkin? (Let’s face it, Mila Kunis has some questionable fucking taste.) But come on the Wachowskis SHOULD FUCKING KNOW BETTER. They have made a movie or two. Maybe the studio forced them to make this casting decision? Who the fuck knows. IT’S SERIOUSLY FUCKING MIND-BOGGLING and practically ruins the movie from frame fucking one.

An actual scene from Jupiter Ascending.

An actual scene from Jupiter Ascending.

So enough about poor little miscast Mila Kunis. What about the plot? CHICK, SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT MILA KUNIS ALREADY AND TELL ME ABOUT THE PLOT! Okay, I will but spoiler alert: IT BLOWS. Anyway it goes something like this: a boring, stupid, ordinary person stuck in their boring, stupid, ordinary life is visited by an all-knowing mysterious being who pulls back the curtain on the boring, stupid, ordinary world to reveal something mind-boggling and slightly crazy. Mysterious being then declares that everything we know is a lie and that aforementioned boring, stupid, ordinary person is going to save humanity because, hey, wouldn’t you know it? THEY ARE DESTINED FOR SOMETHING GREATER. But hang on a sec, first the bad guys — who basically treat human beings like a disposable resource — are gonna need a swift kick in the balls. HOLY SHIT DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO ANYONE?

keanu ascending

I get it, I get it. THIS IS THE HERO’S JOURNEY, everyone does this, they have to do it, George Fucking Lucas read Joseph Campbell, it’s the way this shit goes down. I FUCKING GET IT, SHUT THE FUCK UP. I can forgive the slavish devotion modern filmmakers have for the hero’s journey, because the hero’s journey WORKS. People get into that shit. IT’S WHY BILBO BAGGINS WAS DESTINED FOR SOMETHING GREATER. What if Bilbo Baggins was destined for something stupid? Would you want to see the movie There and Back Again: Bilbo Has Diarrhea? No you wouldn’t because NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THAT FUCKING MOVIE. So hero’s journey, blah blah blah, that’s fine. Cinema trades in the economy of storytelling and fuck, you gotta do what you gotta do. We only have two hours or so to get this shit run-and-done, gotta keep things moving. But Wachowskis, GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK. You couldn’t try just A LITTLE BIT HARDER? Warner Bros. gave you like 300 gabillion dollars and your pitch goes like this, “It’s the Matrix but with space werewolves!” And Warner Bros. goes, “PASS ME MY CHECK BOOK. HOW MANY GABILLIONS DID YOU SAY AGAIN?”

fig. 1. The Hero's Journey

fig. 1. The Hero’s Journey

Oh shit I forgot to mention that Channing Tatum plays the space werewolf! His name is Caine Wise BECAUSE THAT IS A NAME THAT SPACE WEREWOLVES HAVE. For real, you gotta give it up for Channing Tatum. This guy is the Ice Cube of the acting world because homeboy is DOWN FOR WHATEVER. He does comedy (Jump Street), he does serious (Foxcatcher), he does big action (White House Down), and he even does stripping-as-social-commentary (Magic Mike) and he does it all with a big fucking HOW-CAN-I-FUCKING-HELP-YOU GRIN. Channing Tatum can do ANYTHING. I would hate his fucking guts if he wasn’t so willing to please. When the Wachowskis told Channing Tatum that he was going to be a fucking space werewolf, Channing Tatum goes, “Sounds cool. Hang on, let me grab my vampire teeth. What time do you need me?” Channing Tatum is the guy that every girl likes and every dude wants to be. One day maybe you catch him talking to your girlfriend and you are all ready TO STRANGLE CHANNING TATUM TO DEATH for macking on your girl but then you find out that he was just giving her some real heartfelt relationship advice because, damn, he thinks you two make a great couple and he just wants you guys to be happy. BECAUSE CHANNING TATUM GOT YOUR FUCKING BACK. As a result, Channing Tatum (because he is so awesome) manages to skate through Jupiter Ascending with his dignity intact because every time he’s on screen you know he’s thinking to himself, “Yup. I’m a space werewolf. Just another day for Channing Tatum. Let’s kill some dragon aliens.”

Oh by the way, when I say “skate” I mean SPACE SKATING.

Channing Tatum space skating through Chicago like a boss.

Channing Tatum space skating through Chicago like a boss.

No one will ever accuse the Wachowskis of by-the-numbers action sequences. Jupiter Ascending has eye-popping action out the ying-yang and you will not be disappointed. Hell even Matrix Reloaded has the most awesome highway chase maybe ever put to film, and also it’s brought to you by Cadillac BECAUSE THIS IS THE FUTURE OF ADVERTISING. Remember what I said back at the beginning of this bullshit that the Wachowskis want to show audiences things that they haven’t seen before? ALLOW ME TO PRESENT: SPACE SKATES. This shit is awesome to watch and the Wachowskis make it look like the most obvious thing that’s been right in front of our noses all along, just waiting for someone to put it on the screen. As Channing Tatum skates across the Chicago skyline catching Mila Kunis while crosschecking alien assholes you will ask yourself, “Why didn’t anyone ever do space skating before? THIS FUCKING RULES.” Well, they didn’t do it before BECAUSE THE WACHOWSKIS HADN’T INVENTED IT YET, FUCKTARD. Now that they have, brace yourselves and get ready for all the space skating ripoff movies. You know they are coming.

Too bad the awesome action (and sweet orchestral score) can’t save this shit show. Much like Christopher Nolan, the Wachowskis like to tackle heady themes in their movies. They do this with a commendable earnestness that borders on humorless, but that’s okay because JESUS CHRIST SOMEONE HAS TO ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS. For example: Why are we here? What gives human beings their purpose? Is there life on other planets? And: Will Sean Bean continue to talk in that fucking brogue? BECAUSE I CAN’T UNDERSTAND A FUCKING WORD HE IS SAYING. Wait nevermind, here’s what he said: “Bees are genetically engineered to recognize royalty.” Huh, I still don’t understand what the hell he is talking about. You know what, Sean Bean? JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP. Your character’s name is Stinger and you like bees WE GET IT. Like Caine Wise, Stinger is a SPLICE, meaning that his human DNA has been spliced with bee DNA making him a SUPERHUMAN SPACE BEE. Nevertheless, Stinger does not actually have wings, nor does he have a fucking stinger, or really any other powers other than being unintelligible. SO WHAT MAKES HIM A BEE PERSON? Is he just really annoying at picnics? FUCK THIS MOVIE.

Genetic engineering is a central theme of this film, which feels timely and appropriate in the context of a science fiction space epic. Too bad the Wachowskis BURY THE ACTUAL COOL PART in an incomprehensible family melodrama that NO ONE CAN FOLLOW OR GIVE TWO SHITS ABOUT. Something about how the “haves” in this universe live for thousands of years like space vampires and supply the “have nots” with DNA soup that gives the skin a soft, supple glow right before you get harvested for your DNA like human sustainable agriculture because HA HA IT’S ALL ABOUT SPACE CAPITALISM, PASS ME THE GENETICALLY-MODIFIED SPACE PEACHES BROUGHT TO YOU BY MONSANTO. I’m not a Hollywood insider or anything and I don’t honestly know how this shit goes down but DOES ANYONE READ THESE FUCKING SCRIPTS BEFOREHAND? How do you spend all this money on all this amazing art direction and cool fucking space aliens and badass ships with metal wings and space skates and then have your characters say shit like this:

CAINE

Your majesty, I have more in common with a dog
than I have with you.

JUPITER JONES

I love dogs. I’ve always loved dogs.

Someone with a brain in their skull needs to tell the Wachowskis to STOP WRITING MOVIE SCRIPTS. Just fucking stop, okay? STOP. IT. Jupiter Ascending is like making “fuck me” eye contact with a super model from across the room, she looks fucking amazing, only when you actually go up and talk to her she sounds like Fran Drescher. “YOU WANNA GO SOMEWHERES PRIVATE WHERE WE CAN TAWK? HEHEHEHE.” Oh God GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. If we can all agree that the Wachowskis are amazing visual artists but terrible writers CAN SOMEONE JUST GIVE THEM AN AWESOME SCRIPT ALREADY? Just imagine if the Wachowskis got their hands on Avengers 3 or Justice League or some shit from comic book land. THAT SHIT WOULD BE FUCKING OFF THE HOOK INCREDIBLE. Sony should give them Spider-Man. But it won’t happen because the Wachowskis are way up their own asses getting fucking high on their own supply. Sony calls up and says, “Hey Wachowskis, you wanna make the next Spider-Man movies and make like a gazillion dollars?” And the Wachowskis go, “No thanks, Sony. We’ve got this 600 pages of science fiction trilogy about a boring, stupid, ordinary veterinarian who learns that when people aren’t looking dogs are actually conspiring to overthrow the stock exchange with mind control SO YEAH SORRY WE’RE FUCKING BUSY.” Phone slam.

More like Jupiter Descending LOL

More like Jupiter Descending LOL

Seriously I could write a Masters thesis on this fucking movie, but I have actual things to do. However I would be FUCKING REMISS if I did not at least MENTION Eddie Redmayne’s performance as the movie’s villain, Balem Abrasax. (Great name LOL.) Redmayne delivers ONE OF THE MOST GLORIOUSLY STRAIGHT-UP DEMENTED PERFORMANCES I HAVE EVER FUCKING SEEN IN MY LIFE. It’s like the Wachowskis provided the following direction: “Okay Eddie we are so psyched you are part of this movie. Anyway so you are a like a bored rich kid with a mean streak and you’re in space and you’re like ten thousand years old so you’re like SUPER BORED. Also you’re full of homosexual rage that is just bottled up deep inside like a can of Diet Coke that we rolled down the stairs so every once and a while just SCREAM YOUR LINES at the top of your lungs for no reason. But then also whisper your other lines like you just had a laryngectomy a few hours ago. (Pause.) Oh and don’t forget, you killed your mom.” Eddie Redmayne chews the Jupiter Ascending scenery SO FUCKING HARD that I am 100% certain he was shitting gaffer tape for weeks. I cannot stress this enough: EDDIE REDMAYNE’S PERFORMANCE IS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION DO NOT MISS IT. He makes Joaquin Phoenix’s bored, sexually-deviant dictator in Gladiator look like the FUCKING PINNACLE OF ACTING RESTRAINT.

You're not the only one, Eddie.

You’re not the only one, Eddie.

Like I said, I could go on and on and on. We didn’t even get to the alien dinosaurs (and their leather jackets), the low-gravity space orgy, the elephant pilot guy, the “DMV” sequence, the wedding at the end that unintentionally pays homage to The Graduate…DID I MENTION THAT THIS MOVIE IS TOTALLY FUCKING BONKERS? You’re asking yourself, “Should I see Jupiter Ascending?” The answer is an unqualified YES. Will you have a good time? OH FUCK YES. But is Jupiter Ascending a good movie? HALE NO!! It is a dung heap. A fantastic, expensive, off-the-rails dung heap ride straight to Wackytown. And you will enjoy every fucking minute of it.

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