By SARAH GRAMMER
“Jupiter Ascending” hit the box office this past weekend with less than interstellar reviews. In the film, Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is given the life she has always dreamed of when she is suddenly whisked away from her mundane, servant girl lifestyle by Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), an ex-soldier who has been hired to find Jupiter.
Caine takes her to safety after a group of aliens try to kill Jupiter. She soon learns that she is the reincarnation of the mother of the three Abrasax children, who now rule the universe. Jupiter is thrown into their family conflict and learns the real reasons for the Earth’s existence and the part she now plays in it.
If you are solely looking for sci-fi, then this probably is not the film for you, since its sci-fi elements play only a small role in the story. Most of its fantastical influences come from the classic story of “Cinderella.” The film contains elements of multiple genres. It could be classified mainly as action and adventure because of Jupiter’s perilous journey through space and the multiple battle scenes scattered throughout, but there are also hints of comedy and romance. It is a film intended to draw in all audiences.
Due to the introduction of a new world and the speed at which scenes were run, the film was hard to follow at times. On the other hand, certain parts of the film were very familiar. The characters were very serious throughout the film, except the people who came from Earth. Jupiter made many sarcastic side comments, adding to the comedic element while also adding to a feeling of familiarity. This was maintained even when Jupiter is thrust into her new life because her humorous remarks lighten the situation.
As far as acting is concerned, Eddie Redmayne gave a flawless performance as Balem Abrasax. His character was sly and quiet, which Redmayne played well. However, at moments of great tension, Balem would suddenly lose control. Redmayne’s transition between his character’s two sides was genius. It is Eddie Redmayne like he has never been seen before.
Kunis does well, but her performance was not by any means phenomenal. Her character was likeable, yet melodramatic at times.
It was obvious that Channing Tatum only got this role because of his looks. His character, Caine Wise, was stern and unchanging and there was barely any life in Tatum’s character. It seems that Caine was written into the story more as an object than an actual character.
At the box office, Jupiter Ascending has grossed over $18 million as of Feb. 8., in the United States and $33.8 million overseas. The numbers are not surprising based on a general lack of interest shown in the trailer, but the news is not good for the film’s studio. The movie budget was a whopping $179 million, making this theater flop a devastating financial blow.
Although its trailer was not particularly truthful and box office numbers may be discouraging, “Jupiter Ascending” can be recommended to anyone who has an interest in fantasy. Overall, it was a fairly enjoyable movie.