Jupiter Ascending Parent Review
Viewers enticed into paying for their seats by amazing 3D visuals won't be disappointed. Those looking for deep character development and strong storyline, however, may feel short changed.
Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunsi) leads an ordinary, mundane life. An illegal immigrant living in Chicago with her extended family, she works as a cleaning lady. Having scrubbed more toilets than she cares to count, the young woman often wonders why she even bothers to get up in the morning?
But all that changes the day Jupiter agrees to earn some extra cash by donating eggs to a fertility clinic. Shortly after the procedure begins, the medical staff morphs into strange pink creatures (who look like a cross between the classic 1960s bigheaded alien and Lord of the Rings’ Gollum). Just as they are about to inject her with a fatal doseof medicine, a man bursts into the room with guns blazing. Somehow, between shooting and bouncing off the walls, he manages to snatch Jupiter from her would-be assassins.
Needless to say when Jupiter regains consciousness she has plenty of questions. Yet not all the answers she receives from her mysterious rescuer make much sense. Introducing himself as Caine (Channing Tatum), a genetically modified soldier from another world, he tells the frightened girl that he is her only hope for safety in the future.
It turns out the reason Jupiter’s life is in danger is because her DNA code has lined up, like winning lottery numbers, to make her the exact match of a queen from an alien race. Sadly the dead matriarch’s three surviving heirs (Eddie Redmayne, Tuppence Middleton and Douglas Booth) aren’t happy to discover her existence. Thanks to the laws governing their mother’s will, the selfish siblings are forced to share their inheritance with Jupiter, which includes the Earth and all it’s inhabitants. Although she doesn’t quite understand the full significance of this bequest, Jupiter does grasp that her world is a treasure worth killing for.
The frequent battles that ensue, as each of the trio tries to get their hands on Jupiter’s prize, feature many futuristic fights involving high-tech weaponry, spacecrafts, and malicious motives. Despite the sophistication of their society (and the art-director’s stylization), most of these skirmishes still amount to fistfights, dogfights and domestic bickering.
Teens and adults are probably the most appropriate audience for this assault of fast-paced action sequences, and depictions of explosions, property damage and killings. A few of these, including the portrayal of a murdered father, show blood effects. The sinister intent of certain characters may also be disturbing to some viewers. Sexual content involves revealing costumes, rear female nudity, and a scene that implies sexual relations between a man and several female partners. Fortunately the script features only a small smattering of profanities.
Viewers enticed into paying for their theater seats by these amazing 3D visuals won’t be disappointed—no one can fault the digital effects that make this fantasy world so believable. Nor will those cashing in on the promise of as much adventure as a roller coaster ride. Those looking for deep character development and strong storyline, however, may feel short changed. Along with a female lead that plays the perpetual damsel in distress, the plot has all the predictability of a multilevel videogame.
While Jupiter may not be the best role model of an empowered woman, Caine does at least represent qualities of loyalty, selflessness and forgiveness. And these are virtues worth emulating no matter how mundane or extraordinary the galaxy you live in may be.Directed by Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski. Starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Douglas Booth. Running time: 125 minutes. Theatrical release February 6, 2015. Updated May 18, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Jupiter Ascending here.
Jupiter Ascending Parents Guide
Talk about the movie with your family…
Jupiter complains about the mundane nature of her life. How does her financial situation impact the lifestyle she leads? Would things be better if she had more money? What other character is dissatisfied with the quality of her life? Did wealth improve her situation?
What commodity is the most precious in the universe depicted in the movie? How does our world value it?
Despite your circumstances, what reasons do you have to get up each day? What can you do to help cope with the disappointments of your life? What can you do to make the most of the things you do have?
The script suggests that the Earth and mankind are only a small and inconsequential part of a much bigger universe. How do you feel about this statement? Do you believe there are other life forms in the cosmos? If so, do you think they are like us, or very different? In what ways are the characters portrayed in this film similar to human beings? In what ways are they unique?
From the Studio: Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning toilets and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along - her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos. - Written by Warner Brothers Studios