Jupiter Ascending with (spoilery bits?)Posted on 2015.02.15 at 16:04
I wasn't actually intending to go see this, I figured it was more "Adaptation of YA novels desperately trying to imitate the success of the Hunger Games" along the lines of Divergent and Moral Instruments (and I think the Maze Runner, but I haven't looked too much into that one) and not really my cup of tea. But a few people saw it and said good things so I decided to leave the kiddo with daddy and take myself to see it as a Valentines Day gift and a way of saying screw you to 50 Shades of OHGODWHY.
I really enjoyed this movie. There were a few things that were "eh", but for the most part I'm looking around in confusion going, "Why isn't everyone else squeeing over this movie?" Okay, maybe there are a few people, but if there was a movie screaming for it's own fandom, this is it. At least I feel like it should be.
First of all, it is DAMN pretty. I did not see it in 3D, I've found that most action movies seem to loose something when translated to 3D- it's harder to see what's going on in the fight scenes and it becomes this big CGI mess that my brain hates. Even without the 3D though, I was blown away by the visuals. The effects create their own sense of drama. I also have no complaints about the actors, at no point did I feel like they were stilted or poorly chosen for their roles. I was actually really happy to see Sean Bean. (And he doesn't die!) And learning that Channing Tantum really had a hard time with the mouthpiece and still pulled off the part makes me more impressed with him than before.
The story itself... it wasn't a bad story. It felt like there was a lot more to it that wasn't covered and on one hand it was cool that the creators didn't spoon feed the viewer every little detail about what was going on. I was left wanting to know more about the universe that's been built and the characters in it though. I want to know more about the bounty hunters Razo and Ibis, Commander Diomika Tsing, her crew, the Aegis and the Legion, Stinger and Caine are Skyjackers in the Legion, what does that mean exactly? I need more Sean Bean as Stinger. The different planets interest me, Orus- where Jupiter had to do the paperwork, as well as the planets she's on when held by Kalique, Titus and Balem. And all the alien species, as well as gene splices!
So the story itself, a few holes- first the Keepers show up and find out that Katherine isn't the 'droid they're looking for' and catch Jupiter spying on them. They don't check her, find out who she is and kill her, apparently they just wipe her mind (but not her phone- sloppy, sloppy...) Now, apparently they went after Katherine because Jupiter signed up for a fertility clinic under her name (and somehow that's set off security alarms so now everyone is on earth looking for her) but they find out that Katherine isn't actually Jupiter and when Jupiter shows up at the fertility clinic they realize it's actually her and try to kill her... yeah- for the record, that's a mess.
And why do bees instinctively recognize royalty? What purpose does that serve? Aside from allowing us to have a really awesome scene where they get all swarm-happy around Jupiter (and it was gorgeous so I'm not complaining, much).
Some things I really loved, Jupiter's Dad has this brief part in the beginning, but I really fell in love with the guy and his death actually made me sad. Rocket boots- ROCKET BOOTS! "They harness the force of gravity, redirecting it into differential equation slips so you can surf." "Yeah, I heard "gravity" and "surf"." "Up is hard, Down is easy." Rocket. Boots. "Your Majesty, I have more in common with a dog than I have with you." "I love dogs, I've always loved dogs." Her face after this... I've had those moments... Also, the reactions to her using a maxi pad to cover his wound... I'm easily amused. Now, I was prepared to be irked with this movie because Jupiter spends a crazy amount of time being rescued by Caine- understandably there's a lot of shit she's not exactly equipped to deal with and when weird fleshy-aliens are shooting at you, having the military trained guy with rocket boots(!) and some kind of arm shield do the heavy lifting seems reasonable. But DAMN she spends a lot of time getting rescued. Right up until the end. When she's left alone with Balem and he's being an asshole and she kicks him in the jimmies, shoots him in the leg and then goes to town with a pipe. I almost stood up and cheered. I'm also pleased with how she handles waking up with a strange guy who got her dressed. And the whole conversation about the gun... and her response to learning about aliens... in general, she was an excellent 'damsel in semi-distress' because when it came down to it, she made the choice to go to Balem in order to save her family and then nicely told him to fuck off. And the guy they got to play Balem... he was impressive. The character itself was interesting, the whole 'controlling, power-hungry with layers' kind of bad guy, I enjoyed it. His siblings were pretty two-dimensional. Kalique- who is totally okay with mass genocide to extend her own life and Titus- who's amoral, manipulative and a narcissist... yeah. Still good acting.
The romance thing was... well there was definitely chemistry between the actors and that helped. It's hard to believe in the sincerity of the character's feelings when there really isn't much time for them to spend with each other when they aren't running from death. And the whole, "I'm not worthy of licking your boots" thing was kinda 'meh'. But the scene where they're talking about biting... I had a shit eating grin on my face. They were cute, there was no fucking love triangle (you hear me, YA adaptations- love triangles are NOT SEXY!) and I'd ship it.
There wasn't any deep meaning to the story. A little of the 'dystopian society where the privileged do some pretty whacked stuff' was certainly present, if you're going to be a space princess who owns the earth, maybe cleaning a few toilets isn't so bad and family is important... basic stuff like that. But for the most part it was just fun. And then there were wings. Of course there were wings, there HAS to be wings... and more rocket boots(!)... y'know what? Nobody sparkled, I'm happy. And I want more so I'm hoping that they manage to do well enough to decide to do more with it. Come on, if Divergent did well enough to deserve a second movie, we should be able to get something...
Oh hey, totally forgot the movie poster! You know, the one where Jupiter doesn't pose like she's got a broken back and is standing face forward? Nicely done. As well as her request for comfy clothes... it made me smile.