Thursday, January 21, 2016

Weekly schlock and sweeping space adventure!

I was curious about Jupiter Ascending when it came out, but for some unknown reason I passed on it. I’ll assume it was some kind of spider sense.

Now I have finally sat down and viewed this and you know what?! Jupiter Ascending is a completely original and unoriginal film.

The story plays out like this.

(deep inhale)

Alright the universe is full of planets with life. There is a space royal family that divides up these planets. They then harvest the lifeforms from the planets to make life regenerating goo, so they can stay young. Plus their mom is dead. On Earth there is a girl named Jupiter who is a house cleaner and somehow the genetic reincarnation of the space royal family’s dead mom. Now an ex-space soldier, who is part wolf (SPACE WOLF!) is sent to grab Jupiter because she has stumbled upon the truth about aliens. We meet Sean Bean who is an ex-space cop soldier living on Earth and he is part honeybee (but looks completely normal) for some reason. Well there is a bit about splicing genes to make better space cop/soldiers, but whatever. There are some action scenes with some alien ships, explosions, flying boots, laser shields, some bounty hunters and Jupiter falling off stuff a lot. Eventually the royal space family gets hold of Jupiter and she learns that she is their not space mom. She learns about the life for youth goo planetary scheme and also that she owns Earth and its subsidiaries. Now she decides to marry one of the royal family to protect Earth, but that means mom is marrying son or some sort of quasi- space incest. Of course this is a scheme to marry  and kill Jupiter to gain control of Earth youth goo harvest rights. Then space wolf soldier/cop and Sean “honey bee” Bean have to fly space suits through a wave of not asteroids to save Jupiter and then fail only to try and save her again in the final act.
After she has been captured by the evil space royal family son and taken to the youth goo refinery on Jupiter.


Yeah it is this awesome all the time!

Jupiter Ascending is a really befuddling story for the sake of befuddlement. However, it does look really cool a lot of the time. Sadly looking cool does not a good movie make.

Now about the original unoriginal bit from the beginning. If you have swam in the nerd waters for years you can see a lot of other sci-fi stuff in this film. The biggest source is Dune. Replace the spice with youth goo. Replace Arrakis with Earth. Replace the feuding royal houses with the feuding royal families. They are just missing the giant worms and some crazy religious warriors who ride said worms.


There is a smattering of 1980 Flash Gordon as well. The royal soldiers and Jupiter’s wedding dress look like updates from that film. The whole lets destroy Earth bit and evil space royalty bit again. Instead of ruling moons of Mongo, these space people rule planets. Instead of a lightning field there is a giant swirling storm barrier protecting a city. Hell even the good guy flying through said not lightning field in a one man flying craft to save the day, just like in Flash Gordon’s final act.'

Space youth goo is people! Thank you Soylent Green. Hell it could even be drawn to the matrix where instead of batteries humans make space youth goo. Ugh!

A space love interest with a an alien guy who had wings? Yeah space wolf soldier cop once had wings too! Thank you Barbarella.

Hell the evil bounty hunters look like throw aways from Skeletor’s forces or bad Thunder Cat villains.

Look Shadowrun!

We get to walk through montage of space bureaucracy that feels like Brazil or an unused bit from Hitchhiker’s Guide.

Humans (well for the most part humans not from Earth) spliced with space canine DNA to create super soldiers. Yeah I referred to Channing Tatum’s character as the “Not Space Wolf/Space Wolf” during our viewing. This is a stretch to 40K reference in this film, but if you know the game that is all you see, well besides his dreamy eyes and hunky physique.

The giant space ships sometimes reminded me of Battlefleet Gothic, which is a great look. Then there was the ship which I think was from 2001, or it looked like it. The one man flying suits looked like rejected Michael Bay Transformer ideas.

Where there Draconians in this movie. YES. Well at least the closest looking things to Draconians I’ll ever get.

There are people that compare this to Star Wars. To that I say SCREW YOU! Jupiter Ascending is not like Star Wars. Wel….it is kind of like the Phantom Menace when it comes to inane plot. I’m looking at you trade embargo trading blockade and abysmal Imperial Senate story arc. So yeah it might be like that Star Wars, but that is really it.

The visuals are great for the space stuff and over used C.G.I. like we have seen 100’s of times by now. The plot is both simple and complex at times when it needs to be the opposite. It is a perfect dichotomy of too much and too little detail in a story.

She falls a lot.

Sadly Jupiter Ascending really isn’t good. I really wanted it to be good. I really wanted to like it. Why? Well for all the nods (intentional or not) to other sci-fi stuff, this movie is still an original property. There is not a Jupiter Ascending novel, comic book. video game or toy line. There are so few original movie ideas anymore and at least this movie was that. Well if you look past all the similarities, whether they are real or not.

Maybe this movie will be a good/bad for a group of kids. You know like Flash Gordon was for me. Right?

HOLY CRAP forgot the most important part of the movie! My long known man crush Sean Bean makes it out of this film alive! That is like two or three times ever! 

" I live through it. It is one reason I signed on for this film."


  1. the one good thing about this film is the truly epic and realistic looking HUGE spaceships, many of which feature giant statues, promenades, hybrid servitor grav sleds etc etc. There are also plasma guns, jetbikes, the list of 40K visual tropes is long. This was the first film that made me think Hollywood, with its current level of technology and CGI could actually make a 40K movie and get the look right.

    Other than that, its a stinker.

  2. Some very fun visuals when it cam to the ships.
    The space combat bit was just drek though.
    A 40K movie would be awesome but it will never get made. If it did it would probably just suck as nobody would know what to do with it.
    Plus it is just not mainstream enough for a general audience to care about at all.

    Still the CGI is there to make one look really believable.