Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people's houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine Wise, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along - her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.Written by
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Technically speaking, I'm an alien. And from the perspective of Immigration, an illegal one. My parents met at the University in Saint Petersburg, where he taught Astrophysics and she taught Applied Mathematics. My mother fell in love with him when she found him almost frozen to death on the bank of the Neva, staring at the stars.
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It's sad to see an interesting, even thoughtful space-opera like Jupiter Ascending with an IMDb rating of 5.6, while brainless drivel like Gravity scores 7.9, and a confused mess like Interstellar gets a ridiculous 8.7.
That's not to say that Jupiter Ascending is a work of genius. But it's a film that achieves more or less what it sets out to accomplish. It's got a story that makes sense (within its own rules), and it even works on more than one level. Unlike Gravity, it doesn't flout the laws of Newtonian physics in every shot. And unlike Interstellar, it doesn't pretend to be deep, while actually making very little sense at all.
Underneath all the flashy CG, Jupiter Ascending is a very simple little film. I don't want to spoil the plot, even to make a point, because my point is that this film is worth seeing, as long as you approach it the right way. Suffice to say that the plot is straightforward, if not immediately apparent at the start. The characters are simple, B-movie style, but their internal logic holds up.
And there's a pretty interesting moral to the whole story. This film asks whether human society must always be a pyramid, in which billions at the base have nothing so that a handful at the peak can achieve a life of almost unimaginable luxury. This question isn't worked out in any great detail, but it does give the film a surprisingly strong foundation. There are some big ideas here - no more credible than George Lucas 'force' philosophy, perhaps, but no less so either.
Beyond that, some of the imagery is genuinely original - though I did wish the frenetic action sequences hadn't been confusingly shot in close-up, where medium or long shots would have been more effective. Jupiter Ascending isn't as successful as the Wachowsky's previous Cloud Atlas (which truly is a brilliant film), but it's far more effective than their greatest misfire, Speed Racer. (Which somehow manages a 6.1 on IMDb.)
If you like fast-paced space opera in the Star Wars mold, Jupiter Ascending is definitely worth a look.
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