“Jupiter Ascending” Plunges; Save Your Money; Not Worth Watching

Even with streaming on both Netflix and Amazon we often are at a loss for something to watch. Many of the new movies are only for sale, not rent, for a long period of time. And we don’t like buying a pig in a poke.

So when “Jupiter Ascending” became available for rent we hopped on it. What a disappointment. From the trailer it looks like the movie makes sense. But they must have used clips from so far into the action that it doesn’t matter anymore. Believe me, if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the best of “Jupiter Ascending”.

To begin with the movie was too disjointed. It jumped from scene to scene, with so many different characters popping up and talking about who-knows-what, that it was hard to keep up with the who knows who, and where and what and when.

But we were committed — at least for the short run — so we concentrated on the main character, Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), who hates her life. And just so you know, I was not impressed with Kunis as Jupiter Jones.

According to the movie, Jupiter and her family clean houses for a living, getting up at an ungodly hour to get started on it all. One of their clients is an outrageously wealthy woman named Katharine Dunlevy. Katherine pops up on screen without a by-your-leave from anybody and nobody knows who the heck she is or how she fits in. Katharine and Jupiter start talking like they are roommates and best buds so the relationship is a bit obscure. A little introductory intro would have helped.

Okay. Let me see if I can get this right. The bad guy aliens are harvesting human earthling female eggs in order to determine who has at least a smidgen of DNA from interplanetary royalty. Somehow ascertaining that one Katharine Dunlevy possesses this rare and desirable commodity, they seek to harvest her eggs and then kill her. I think.

Unfortunately for the aliens, Jupiter Jones is in the next room and not only watches the whole thing go down, she grabs her handy dandy smart phone and snaps a picture. But, since Katharine Dunlevy pops back into earth time continuum so smoothly that her conversation is not even interrupted, only the picture on Jupiter’s phone proves the event ever happened.

For some reason that was never clear at the time, (I have since learned from Wikipedia that it was for cash so Jupiter could buy a telescope) Jupiter Jones goes to a clinic called “Harvesters” so they can harvest her eggs. It looks like a legit though bizarre enterprise, but we viewers know better, don’t we.

But then we find out that Jupiter Jones is using Katharine Dunlevy’s name, and that it is Jupiter’s  blue-blood eggs that the aliens are so hot to put into their baskets. Clear as mud, right?

But as she is strapped to the table for the procedure, Jupiter changes her mind and starts struggling and screaming. Then, lo and behold, the doctors and nurses turn into the standard-looking, pale, thin, boney bunch of aliens with the heart-shaped heads and big eyes. Kinda like Lucy Liu.

Riding in on his — no, zooming in on his lighted boots comes the good guy who is an interplanetary whatever. And, of course, he doesn’t look like the little pale, boney minions. He looks like Channing Tatum. Oh. Wait. He is Channing Tatum. He plays the part of the hero, Caine Wise. Caine/Channing wears boots that help him surf the air and a shield that . . . well, shields . . . from alien laser guns.

Caine battles said intergalactic bad guys — who also do not look like the pale, boney aliens — while holding Jupiter Jones. And his shield. And his own laser gun. And dodging a laser firestorm. And returning fire.

The ship he has waiting in the stratosphere is blown to kingdom come by these bad guys who are really determined not to lose Jupiter or her eggs. So here he also dodges flaming missiles from the fallout. Ain’t this guy good, folks? Not only is he absurdly proficient, but did I mention he looks like Channing Tatum? He had to have been born with all his planets in alignment.

At this point, Mike and I look at each other with resignation and decide that watching the grass grow in the dark would be much finer entertainment. So try this dud of a movie if you want to, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Unless, of course, you girls just want an excuse to look at Channing Tatum. — Sayonara.



15 thoughts on ““Jupiter Ascending” Plunges; Save Your Money; Not Worth Watching

  1. Yes, the trailers for “Jupiter Ascending” are very colorful, the spaceships look exciting, Mila Kunis looks enchanting, Channing Tatum looks suitably studly, and I love Sean Bean. But I appreciate the heads-up that the trailers are the best of the film and the film itself is not worth watching. On the other hand, a film I recommend where the trailers do not do it justice is “Tomorowland.” Amy Nicholson has a great review of the film in LA Weekly magazine. George Clooney is good but not great in it; it is not the best work he has done (I would vote for “Up In the Air,” “Michael Clayton” and “Syriana” as his best films.) But “Tomorrowland” has a great message that we should work for a better future, and it has a break-out star in Raffey Cassidy, a 13-year old British actress who is a revelation in the film. Yet she does not appear in any of the trailers! The 25-yr,. old actress Britt Robertson is the nominal female lead, and she is very good as a rebellious 18-yr. old trying to save her father’s job (her father is played by country singer Tim McGraw, in another understated performance that makes you realize what a great supporting actor he is), but Raffey Cassidy absolutely walks away with the movie. She steals it. You will not forget her after you see her in this film. She has a monologue near the end where she professes her love for the Clooney character (don’t worry, it is not weird in the context of the film, but no spoilers here) that will blow you away for the sheer acting chops she displays. Again, “Tomorrowland” is not a great movie, but it is earnest, exciting and well-made. It is a very good movie. All the best, Michael

    • Michael, my Mike and I have been dying to see Tomorrowland”. It looks great. I’ve read that Clooney was purposely understated, giving way so the girl could shine. After your glowing recommendation, we definitely want to see it. We were captivated by the trailer and we are glad to hear that it’s not just another glitz with no gold.

      Did you see “Jupiter Ascending”, or are you just giving it a pass as per my review?

      We’ll probably hear from my New Hampshire friend Jo Ann on your assessment of the actors on “Tomorrowland”. That woman knows something about any actor you can possibly name. She’s a walking People’s Magazine, just with more depth. LOL

  2. Linda, I did not see “Jupiter Ascending,” and after reading your review I doubt that I will. Yee, I did see the “Sharpe’s Rifles” series on TV — I don’t think it was broadcast on PBS, but I cannot remember either which station broadcast — and I liked Sean Bean in it very much. There also are two Sharpe’s Rifles movies that were (are still?) on Netflix, which were pretty good. Michael

    • “…Sharpe’s Rifles series. Can’t remember what network aired it…”

      It was a made for TV movie and aired on PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre a long time ago…the 1990s, I think. I loved it, too.

    • Mike and I will be looking out for any replay or ongoing series of Sharpe’s Rifles. Haven’t heard about the movies. Thanks for the heads up.

      Got back from Pensacola Sunday. I almost feel alive again now. Mike and I are definitely too old for that much fun. LOL

  3. “We’ll probably hear from my New Hampshire friend Jo Ann on your assessment of the actors on “Tomorrowland”. That woman knows something about any actor you can possibly name. She’s a walking People’s Magazine, just with more depth. LOL”

    Wow! High praise indeed! 🙂 And as you suspected, here I am. Thanks for saving two hours of my life because I had intended to get this movie from Netflix. I like Sean Bean, Channing Tatum, adore Eddie Redmayne (have you seen The Theory of Everything yet?) and Douglas Booth (Pillars of the Earth, Romeo & Juliet) and Great Expectations. But even with all those “likes” I think I’ll pass on this. Sounds like a truly ridiculous story.

    As Michael said, I, too, have heard great things about Tomorrowland and plan to see it as soon as it’s out on DVD. I know Britt Robertson from her fine work on Under the Dome, but her leading role opposite Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott, in her new film The Longest Ride has launched her career big time. They’re both very good in it. Michael has made me very curious to see 13-year-old Raffey Cassidy.

    Last night I watched Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game. I HIGHLY recommend it. Frank likef it, too, and he’s nearly impossible to please. It’s fascinating and Benedict is truly one of the greatest actors working today.

    • (have you seen The Theory of Everything yet?) and Douglas Booth (Pillars of the Earth, Romeo & Juliet) and Great Expectations. —

      Haven’t seen any of those except Great Expectations. Pillars of the Earth was awesomely written with one caveat. It was like it was written by two different authors. One who was a “real writer”, the other a porn hack.

      We watched Under the Dome once or twice. Weren’t interested enough to follow it. Too many plot holes.

      Is The Longest Ride out yet?

      Oh, I’m so glad you watched The Imitation Game. That was one awesome movie. There are a few movies I’ve been wanting to write good reviews for, but I keep coming upon lousy ones that I want to warn people away from. Now I’m in the midst of writing about our Pensacola trip. I’m doing a blog a day and that’s a lot for me.

      I agree wholeheartedly about Benedict Cumberbatch. As you say, one of the greatest actors working today. He’ll be one for the cinema history books.

  4. The trailer makes it look to ridiculous for me, though the “I love dogs. I’ve always loved dogs.” is a great line. However, Tatum’s ears look ridiculous, the evil alien royalty is overacted (in the trailer, so it has to be painful in the full-length version) and the premise made me roll my eyes. Appreciate the review because I might have eventually watched it on NetFlix because of the cast.

    • Sorry I haven’t gotten back to all my comment-ors. We’ve been in Pensacola with two adult-sized teens, and our daughter. Too tired to think when I got home and barely got blogs posted. Dave, I agree with all of the above and also have another movie that turned out to be a flop and a disappointment. Will post that review shortly.


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