Why You Should See ‘Jupiter Ascending’ Despite The Pans

With the Wachowskis’ new film Jupiter Ascending being called a flop by basically all the critics, it may seem like it’s an obvious movie to avoid. I have to admit, I’m not likely to shell out movie theater prices for the film, but this Mila Kunis/Channing Tatum/Eddie Redmayne sci-fi creation is absolutely on my must-watch list by the time it hits streaming or DVD, and here’s why.

#JupiterAscending was hilariously bad. It’s a 2015 big budget B-movie. Heck, Eddie Redmayne being over the top was the best thing in it.

— Eric (@ENRAGEMediaCorp) February 11, 2015

Many of the reviews designed to tell me how horrible the movie is are just telling me that I should see it. For example, Entertainment Weekly compared Jupiter Ascending to The Phantom Menace, saying that the Wachowskis have become George Lucas.

“Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A lovable every-person prole protagonist with a dead-end job gets plucked out of obscurity by a space warrior, who reveals that the protagonist is actually some kind of chosen one.”

Okay…but the storyline is classic because it works. While this is a valid plot synopsis for Phantom Menace, it also works for Star Wars: A New Hope, Harry Potter (sub “wizards” for “space warrior”), Divergent, even Twilight. The audience is the prole protagonist, and wants to be told that they’re special. That’s what fantasy is for.

Meanwhile, there are reviews talking about the great parts of Jupiter Ascending. Here is what Michael Smith at Tulsa World thought.

“The romance is unabashed. The revenge factor and royal sibling deceptions are unabashed. The new science-fiction fantasy from the Wachowskis, the film-making family that created The Matrix and has been trying to top it ever since, is totally unabashed.”

Sam Maggs at The Mary Sue wrote a review titled “Jupiter Ascending is the worst movie ever go see it immediately,” which contained this as the plot summary.

“The plot is this: the Wachowskis were given an extraordinary amount of money to make whatever the hell they wanted, and what they wanted to make is exactly what we all, secretly, deep down, want to make: the big-screen adaptation of that Stargate fanfic you wrote when you were fourteen that really went off the rails and began to inhabit its own universe, complete with original characters, wolf-men, and bees. That’s Jupiter Ascending.”

If that doesn’t sell you on the movie, then I don’t think this movie is for you. And that’s okay. I don’t think the Wachowskis have ever been afraid of making movies that aren’t for everyone.

While the domestic release of Jupiter Ascending has generally been considered unimpressive, Variety reports that the film has topped the charts overseas, particularly in Russia, France, and Korea.

On second thought, maybe I will make time to see Jupiter Ascending at the theater, if only to see Eddie Redmayne deliver the performance of an over-the-top lifetime.

[Image from Geek Crusade]