Jupiter Ascending

MV5BMTQyNzk2MjA2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjEwNzk3MjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Jupiter Ascending

Director: The Wachowskis (Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski)

Key Actors: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne

Synopsis: Jupiter Jones hates her life. She cleans toilets for a living and seemingly has no ambitions of her own. One day she is accosted by aliens sent to kill her but is rescued by a wolf/human hybrid in the form of Channing Tatum. She has no idea what is going on… and neither does the audience until about an hour into the film.

Overall Rating: 1/2 Star

While watching this film, I kept wondering if it would ever end. “Why? Why did I enter this theatre? This is so terrible I can’t believe I am actually here watching this happen.” Luckily I attended a matinee, but I want my $6.75 back.

This movie is awful. Do not watch it. The only good part–and the only reason I give this movie half a star–is Eddie Redmayne, who is amazing in all he does and should win an award for maintaining fantastic acting chops amidst an all around terrible movie experience.

Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of the villain Balem is chilling. He is notably soft-spoken… except when he is yelling, which is rare and therefore startling. His quiet calm makes for a more terrifying villain than a stereotypical loud and angry one. He seemed almost sickly in his quiet. Unfortunately, he was not on screen much. Alas, most of the movie was filled with stupidity, recycled sequences, and sexist archetypes.

Bechdel:  Pass. Pass with brief conversation about toilets and cleaning between Jupiter and her mother and aunt. Very compelling stuff, let me tell you.

Treatment of Women: Fail, fail, fail. Let me count the ways in which this film fails at being a good portrayal of female characters:

  1. Jupiter has no control over her destiny. New information is thrust upon her as aliens attempt to kill her. She is shuffled around and doesn’t do much. I can understand if you are presented with information about other worlds and your role in them you might at first be shocked and just want to accept it and learn more. But eventually you’ve got to use your brain and make decisions and take action, instead of just letting other people (men) do everything for you.
  2. Jupiter doesn’t do anything. Ever. She screams, runs, looks scared, simply lets things happen. It’s so typical Hollywood. Why should a female character even try? Some man will come along and fix everything, right? It’s utterly sexist and typical of the kind of female roles that exist in Hollywood. It is also sooooo boring. As a woman I watch characters like that and think, “I know no women like this. All women I know use their brains and don’t let strange men–alien or otherwise–dictate their lives or define their purposes. Do these writers know any women at all?” Eventually Jupiter defies the villain, which is good. She also kills him–sort of. Really she just beats him with a stick and a collapsing building kills him. This is after she runs around aimlessly for ten minutes while Channing Tatum skates around on his magic gravity boots.
  3. Jupiter falls in love with a stranger. Because what else can a woman do but fall in love with strangers? Never mind that he evidently has a genetic propensity to rip out the throats of royals. No biggie. That’s sexy, right?
  4. When aliens are trying to kill Jupiter as she is floating in the air for some reason. But instead of ripping the gas mask off her face she just floats there–waiting for Wolf/Human to rip it off for her. I guess this detail could technically fall under bullet two, but it was such a dumb scene. That’s really the most apt adjective: dumb. What must the interior monologue be in a situation like that? “I’m dying because this gas mask is depriving me of oxygen. AAAAAAAHHHH! But, it will be okay because hunky dude I’ve never seen before will rip it off for me. Thank goodness for hunky dude!” Maybe she was magically bound and couldn’t move her arms? I don’t know. It was amazingly dumb.

This movie is awful. I wish I could delete it from my brain. It had potential–the trailer made it look like it was a female-driven movie that was actually female-driven. But It. Is. Terrible. Just awful. I don’t think I’ve disliked a movie this much since Inside Llewyn Davis.

But I still love you Eddie Redmayne. Always.