Jupiter Ascending apparently has it all: big name stars Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, the writing/directing team of Lana and Andy Wachowski, and a $175 million budget. Despite the credential and the money, the critics’ assessment has been less than kind. For most, the flick looks extraordinary, but has a less-than-intelligent script.
But some critics are recommending that you go see the film anyway.
Angela Watercutter, who wrote a piece in Wired called “Go See Jupiter Ascending, Even if It’s Stupid (And It Really Is),”‘ pulled no punches in her assessment before encouraging readers to support the film.
“The script is uneven, the editing is weird, the performances are weirder, and, for added measure, it all lacks focus. Now shut up and go buy a ticket.”
Watercutter says the film is big and exciting and the Wachowskis have a unique talent for building worlds. Jupiter Ascending is one of the few sci-fi pictures with an original story, as most films in the sci-fi genre of late have been reboots of established franchises.
That is something the film’s producer, Grant Hill, noted to the Los Angeles Times.
“There’s an interest among a lot of people within the studios to do big, original pictures, but it’s become very hard to fund them when the audience is so reliably going to spectacle pictures from an existing source.”
Jupiter Ascending was originally slated for release last July. The date was pushed back for work on post-production, starting rumors there were issues with the film.
Lana Wachowski told the Times that she is not concerned about those who may not like the film. The siblings have produced controversial titles such as The Matrix, Bound, Cloud Atlas, and V for Vendetta.
“If all we were interested in was money, financial practicality, box office, and popularity, we would have never made any of the films we’d made.”
The Economist acknowledged Jupiter Ascending‘s fantastic look, but says it can’t save the film from the weight of its other problems.
“[W]hen such stratospheric audio-visual ambition works in the service of such a trashy story and such forgettable characters, admiration soon turns to embarrassment.”
The San Francisco Chronicle took a bit of a different take, stating that the film survives despite its flaws.
“[T]he important thing is that [Jupiter Ascending‘s] virtues are extraordinary, while its flaws are easy to forget because they’re so common.”
The New York Times noted the contrast between what the writing/directing team does well, and what it does not.
“[The Wachowskis are] good at making entire worlds, but, whether distracted by the big stuff or bored by the putatively small, they have a tough time making a conversation between two people come alive.”
Jupiter Ascending is in theaters now.