Monday, November 30, 2015

Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending is a movie without a single original concept to its name. I don't think I've ever experienced a single work that borrows so heavily from other, better works.
As you can probably tell from the poster, this film comes to us courtesy of the Wachowski siblings, creators of The Matrix franchise, and contributors to such movies as Assassins, Bound, V For Vendetta, The Invasion, Speed Racer, Ninja Assassin, and Cloud Atlas. The only film they've made that I know for certain people like is The Matrix, the rest seems to be a mixed bag of good to bad reactions. I personally thought The Matrix Reloaded was a pretty good film, but Revolutions seemed like a good idea gone bad. Aside from this film and The Matrix Trilogy I've never seen any other Wachowski movies, so I'm not really able to judge this film in relation to the bulk of their body of work. Fortunately, I can still judge it as a film, and as a film, it's a bit confused to say the very least.
I remember hearing years and years ago that the Wachowski's were working on a new science-fiction franchise, thinking that it might be interesting, and then forgetting about it after not hearing anything about it for years on end. I didn't even connect this movie and that rumor from a few years ago as being the same thing until I looked this up on Wikipedia to do a little research yesterday. I also found out that this movie is a reunion for a bunch of previous Wachowski collaborators, with them bringing over crew from almost all of their previous movies, barring their first two.
Now, judging just from the poster and the cast, what kind of movie do you think this is? Because I can tell you what I thought it was when I first heard about it. Another adaptation of a young-adult novel in the vein of Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and other movies that have come out in recent years. I was surprised to find out that it wasn't, because it certainly feels like a cut-down adaptation, considering how fast it seems to jump from one scene to the next with very little pause for breath or explanation.
So, let's go ahead and talk about the plot. The main character is named Jupiter Jones, and she's played by Mila Kunis. If the characters name sounds familiar, then you've probably read The Three Investigators books as a kid. (As explanation, one of the titular trio in that series was named Jupiter Jones) As soon as I remembered that, I couldn't get it out of my head. I just kept picturing a Three Investigators movie that takes place in space.
The fact that the main characters name is Jupiter implies that the title actually means something, and it almost does, but once the movie ends, you're left wondering what the hell the point was.
Anyways, Jupiter was born of the union between the son of a British diplomat to Russia, named Maximilian Jones, and some Russian woman who we don't know a whole lot about, named Aleksa. They met when Max was stargazing in the Russian winter, and apparently Aleksa kept him from freezing to death. The problem with that assertion is that, while Max is certainly under-dressed for the kind of Winter that brings in copious amounts of snow, he doesn't appear to be in much danger at all. And considering that his father is a British diplomat, there's no real reason for him to be out stargazing without enough clothes on during the Russian winter If Max had fallen into the water and Aleksa got him out, then I'd say this makes sense, but as it is, the narration doesn't match the events of the film.
Max likes the planet Jupiter, and wants to name his daughter after it. Aleksa doesn't want to name her Jupiter, but a what appears to be a SWAT team bursts into their home, steals a bunch of stuff and kills Max when he tries to fight them off. No, we're never given an explanation as to who this gang of renegade special-forces operatives are, or what they're doing running around killing people. But that's not even the half of it. After Max dies, his wife immigrates illegally to the United States before her daughter is born. This just baffles me, since if the son of a British diplomat was killed by a Russian gang, that'd be an international incident! MI6 would start investigating, the CIA would probably be involved, they'd be working with the Russian police, Russian Federal Security Service, all of these agencies would probably become involved.
And do you know what the worst part is? They don't even mention anything about where the murder took place, so for all we know, he could have been killed inside the embassy itself. Which would qualify as an act of terrorism!
And if he's not living at the embassy, why not? Why would he need to live anywhere else? They don't tell us anything about him having a falling out with his parents over his wife, or any other explanation, so we're left without any clue as to what the actual situation is.
And then we get to the fact that Aleksa traveled to the USA instead of, say, the UK, where she'd probably be able to get in without having to resort to illegal means. Or hell, legal immigration to the US probably would have been an option, since she's the wife of the son of the British ambassador to Russia. What I'm saying is that this movie seems to have been married to the idea of making Jupiter an "Illegal alien" as the opening narration states without actually explaining why. Also, Jupiter is born in international waters, having been the daughter of a British citizen and a Russian citizen, so I'm not entirely sure how the law treats that kinda thing.
Props to the casting team for actually getting an actress from the general area of Russia to play Jupiter. I don't particularly mind Mila Kunis as an actress, so I can't really complain about the casting. If nothing else, this movie has a damn fine cast. But then again, so did Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, and look how both of those turned out. Goes to show that a good cast doesn't make for a good movie.
Jupiter goes on to become a housekeeper with her mother. She gets up at five in the morning, scrubs toilets and tiles, dusts, all kinds of typical housekeeping things. This pretty much serves to establish her as a modern-day Cinderella-type, rather ham-handedly I say. She also looks at herself in the mirror while holding up jewelry and clothing that belongs to the rich people she works for, which serves as her "longing for more" sequence, replacing the standard Disney song and dance that princess movies usually have.
The movie then takes a massive shift in location, as we transition to a different planet with futuristic technology. Not that that's immediately apparent, since it's only when they mention Earth as a planet belonging to one of the snooty alien humans that we realize this isn't earth. I like to call these three "The Genocide Triplets". They're the heirs to some massive space empire, and their names are Balem, Titus, and Kalique Abrasax. The three of them brag about the harvest for a bit before getting into a verbal sparring match, which results in Titus attempting to scam Balem out of the rights to the Earth. Balem isn't having any of it, nor is Kalique.
This scene particularly bugged me. It's just that the thought of people "owning" the Earth while it's inhabited by people who don't know that they're part of some kind of empire is something which I don't like. It just feels like an incredibly dumb excuse, which allows a piece of fiction to have all the nice sci-fi technology while also having the fish out of water normal person along for the ride. Not to mention that it doesn't make sense from a logistical standpoint unless you happen to know for a fact, beyond the shadow of a doubt that you and your occupying forces can take the inhabitants of the planet in a fight. These people have their own laws, their own sense of morals, their own technological developments. If they somehow manage to figure out that they're being occupied, at the very best you're going to have an armed rebellion. At the very worst, they're going to win. Even if the occupying forces have superior technology, there's no way to control everything. It's possible that their tech would fall into the hands of someone who would then go on to develop weapons based on it. Weapons that would be better, and manage to get through occupying defenses. But they're not even occupying the planet, they just own it. They're not even really monitoring it, so for all they know, Earth could have developed FTL travel and a Starship named Enterprise and they wouldn't be much the wiser. Although that's more the fault of the film-makers than the characters, since they don't establish anything about the level of occupation that the human aliens have on Earth. This is turning into a running theme, isn't it? Them failing to establish in any way the fine details which would make the world more coherent.
We then cut to a group of mercenaries who all appear to have borrowed their costume-design from other, better movies. We have a woman who's dressed-up to look like Blink from Days of Future Past, some guy who looks like Deadshot from Arrow if he found Alastor Moody's Mad-Eye, and an incredibly skinny version of B.A. from The A-Team. Not-Blink rides around on a hoverbike that looks like a gun. This bike can apparently turn invisible, which is handy for covering up all the glowing lights it's plastered in.
They're here to do... Something. We don't really know what, except that they're hunting some bounty, and they determine that Channing Tatum's character, Caine Wise, is after the same bounty they're looking for. Really, all this sequence serves to do is establish Caine as a badass, since nothing in this scene appears to affect the later plot. When I first watched the movie I wasn't really sure how the file Caine looks for has any kind of connection to the rest of the film, but after looking through that scene again, I can tell what its purpose was.
See, later on in the movie, Jupiter Jones agrees to let some of her eggs be harvested in exchange for five-thousand dollars, and she uses the name Katherine Dunlevy at the same clinic that Caine breaks into, but we're never told how he knew how to get there, or why the mercenaries are staking out the clinic. Caine has heightened tracking senses, and the mercenaries talk him up something big, but this feels like a massive cop-out, especially considering the overall quality of the rest of the plot. And here's the thing, even though I now know what the direct connection was between the obstetrics clinic, Jupiter, and Katherine Dunlevy, it's still fairly badly executed.
I have this idea where if something doesn't make sense at first glance, you should probably go back and rewrite it. Sometimes that's not the best approach to storytelling, but it's a good guideline to follow unless you're purposefully trying to confuse the audience. The fact that I didn't pick up on that little connection is due in part to the fact that they don't really focus on the sheets of paper in the file. Given the fact that the mercenaries were talking about Caine's ability to track someone down from a single cell or some nonsense like that, I thought he was looking for birth records, so I didn't connect the file at the clinic as being related to Jupiter. But even then, she doesn't want to have her eggs harvested, so why does she have a file at the clinic, even if it's under an alias?
The fight-scene between Caine and the unnamed mercenaries is hard to watch. Hundreds of shots are fired, and nobody hits anyone, which wouldn't be too big a deal if they'd directed the action-scene better. With the amount of shots taken at the range they're at, you'd think that Caine would have hit someone, or someone would have hit him.
We're then introduced to Katherine Dunlevy, Jupiter's rich friend who she sometimes impersonates. The exchange they have is utterly pointless, since Katherine never actually shows up at any other point in the movie. Jupiter and Katherine discuss a guy Kat thinks is going to propose to her, and she asks Jupiter what she should wear. Spoiler warning, the guy never shows up on screen, so this is pointless as well.
Jupiter goes into Kat's massive freaking closet to get an outfit for her, and Kat gets knocked out by your typical bug-eyed grey aliens (Incredibly lazy design if you ask me) called "Keeprs" and they test her blood. Jupiter takes a picture of the aliens, and they find her, wiping her memory. Stupidly though, they don't think to check her phone for pictures. Although this raises another question; how did a girl as poor as her afford a freaking iPhone? They sort of mention her overspending later on, but I feel like this was just product placement from Apple. Also, as we later find out, Jupiter is the one they were looking for, and that raises the following question; why didn't the Keepers just test her DNA while they were there? It's obviously not hard for them, so why didn't they do it? They might have had the wrong girl, there's no way for them to know that, since the file in the clinic didn't have a picture in it.
After Jupiter's denied a loan to buy a telescope that was like her fathers (God only knows how she'd know what kind of telescope her father had, since it was stolen before she was born) she agrees to sell some of her eggs. She goes to that clinic Caine broke into earlier in the movie and is almost killed by a bunch of disguised Keepers before Caine jumps in and kills all of them. This action-scene is also pretty badly choreographed, but that's all down to the special-effects people, since the Keeper's are completely CGI as far as I can tell. Caine at one point kicks one of the Keepers, but Channing Tatum's kick obviously doesn't connect with the CGI model, despite the Keeper reacting as if it did. And the rest of the fight-scene just seems way too loosely choreographed. Star Wars this is not.
Caine takes Jupiter to some building in Chicago where he gives us the mind-boggling realization that humanity is not alone in the universe!
I'm sorry, what? How? Why? This is just downright stupid, since we've been fantasizing about there being other species from other planets, friendly and hostile alike, for well over a hundred freaking years! Did the Wachowski's miss all of that? Did nobody at Warner Brothers, or any member of the cast or crew think to put their hand up and say "Hey, this doesn't make any sense from a pop-culture perspective!"
What is one of the most popular entertainment franchises? Star Trek! What's it based around? Travelling through space, meeting aliens, doing battle with aliens, making friends with aliens, having aliens as part of the crew... At this point, it'd be a bigger shock if we were alone in the universe. And I don't buy for a second that someone who has an iPhone and internet access in the 21st century wouldn't know what Star Trek is! Or, for that matter, any of the other pieces of media based around aliens. What's worse is that they treat this like some massive revelation, so I blame this little plot-hole entirely on the the Wachowskis, whoever was editing their script, and also the actors for not bringing it up when they read it. This means you have to accept that Caine has no idea about Earth's popular culture, and that Jupiter doesn't know enough about it to point out the massive flaw in his reasoning for thinking humans wouldn't accept that there are aliens.
Another major flaw I noticed was that Caine gives his gun to Jupiter and tells her how to use it, which I find odd. He says it was to make her feel better, but she could have easily killed or severely wounded him, either on purpose or by accident. It doesn't matter if Caine has heightened reflexes and senses, a good shot to the head would still probably kill him. Or hell, she could have hurt herself. He'd be better off keeping all possible weapons away from Jupiter. Jupiter has also been given a new set of clothes, since she was only in a hospital gown when Caine rescued her.
After he finishes explaining that, he tells Jupiter that he's part wolf, and shows her his gravity-skates, giving some complicated technobabble answer as to how they let him fly around. These are essentially identical to Shadow The Hedgehog's rocket-skates from Sonic Adventure 2, the difference being that that game just said "Hey, we shoved a bunch of rockets into a pair of inline-skates! Is that cool, or what?"
Sure, it might be a massive feat of engineering to cram rockets into a form that would serve as a pair of skates, but I can believe that more than I can believe the technobabble provided in this movie. And at one point, Caine uses them to melt chains without any explanation as to why these gravity-skates serve to conduct any kind of heat. That's the absolute least of the problems in that scene, so I'll wait for that scene to come up before I talk about it anymore.
Caine calls a ship to come and get them, but instead of just hovering by the window, or landing on the little ledge next to the room in the building Caine is in. This, combined with the freaking slow tractor-beam they use instead of a transporter (Which coincidentally looks exactly like the tractor-beams used in Star Trek and Doctor Who.) allows Balem's assault team to blow up Caine's ship and causes a massive chase through Chicago, ending with a lot of buildings damaged and probably a lot of people dead.
Here's where we come to another major failing of the movie, the fact that The Wachowski's seem to think that, in this day and age, an uncloaked dogfight in the skies of Chicago would go unnoticed, even at night. Everyone's got a phone, everyone's got internet access, there would be a hundred videos up on YouTube before those Keepers could wipe any memories. People would be texting their friends and family, posting about it on Twitter and Facebook. Vines would be going up almost instantly.
See, this is the problem Transformers 2 and 3 had, it assumes that they could cover up something like this. Even with their ability to erase memories and repair damaged buildings at a rapid pace, the internet doesn't forget. Ever. You try and delete something? It's already been downloaded and reuploaded to somewhere else fifty times, and from there it's been backed up as well. An alien dogfight over Chicago would be international news before it was over. There's no way they could cover this up.
After that's over, there's a whole scene dedicated to Balem rewatching Caine's fight against the Keepers in the obstetrics clinic, then we meet up with Caine's old friend, Stinger Apini, played by Sean Bean.
This is where we get to what I think is one of the stupidest things in the movie. Stinger raises bees, and his bees form wings around Jupiter, which flap when she moves her arms. The explanation that they give is that "bees recognize royalty", but I know that's bollocks, since bees don't do that in real life. They don't explain why that's the case in this universe, so I would reckon that they were trying to work off bees actual recognition of queen bees. It's not like the recognize human royalty in the real world. And that's the thing, when a piece of fiction doesn't establish the rules of its fictional universe, we're forced to fall back on real-world science, and when that science says that things shouldn't happen the way they do in the movie, you wind up being forced to say that it doesn't make sense.
Sting and Caine are both what they call "Splices," specialized humans with animal DNA spliced into them. We're never actually told what kind of Splice Sting is, although Wikipedia says that he's part honeybee. We also never see Sting's wife, even though he has a daughter, who's apparently got some kind of terminal illness, despite appearing to be in perfect health.
Sting explains to Jupiter how humans aren't from earth, and how other humans killed all the dinosaurs and seeded the planet with human-beings. That's just idiotic, and I'm going to explain why. Later on in this movie, the other humans are revealed to be extremely long-lived, but that doesn't matter, since they pretty much used the least efficient method of colonization and breeding for their purposes. I don't care how long you live, if you want to breed as many humans as possible in the shortest period of time, especially for their purposes, why would you just let humans evolve over the course of a hundred-thousand years when you could just let them breed as is until they're ready to harvest?
Jupiter calls her home to try and tell her family that she's alright, but her cousin who convinced her to sell her eggs is the only one who's home. For some reason, he's playing what appears to be Dark Souls II. The problem is that he keeps taking his hand off the controller, which isn't something you do in Dark Souls. I haven't even played Dark Souls and I know that much about it. I also know that Dark Souls isn't a two-player game, but that didn't stop them from giving the little kid in the scene a controller as well.
The mercenaries and Keepers show up to kill Jupiter, but Caine and Stinger kill all the Keepers, and (for no explicable reason) the mercenaries kill one of their own people and abduct Jupiter. Caine sees this, and stows away on their ship. (Which looks like Slave I crossed with something from Star Fox.)
They fly all the way to another planet, where the mercenaries take Jupiter to see Kalique, who tells Jupiter about her peoples fixation on genetics, gives her a fancy dress, shows them the baths that let them go back to their peak of perfection and live for millennia (Giving us a nice view of Tuppence Middleton's butt), and shows Jupiter that she's a "Recurrance" of the Genocide Triplet's mother. Apparently they have laws regarding what happens when someone who is genetically identical to a previous person shows up. That begs the question, how do they deal with that when genetically identical people show up while the other person is still alive?
This thing about a pit of liquid bringing you back to your youth is rather obviously copied from the pit used by Ra's Al Ghul uses in the Batman comics to heal deadly wounds and bring him back to life. There are probably other things that did similar things as well.
Before any questions about the "genetic recurrence" thing can be asked or answered, Caine and the space-police show up to take Jupiter to The Entitled Hall to go through the legal process of claiming her title, giving Jupiter yet another change of outfit.
On the way to the , we get some innuendo between Caine and Jupiter, with Jupiter asking him if he wants to bite her (He lost his job with the space police because he bit an Entitled's throat out) and mentioning that she likes dogs, both of which could be turned sexual fairly easily, the latter of which could take a turn for the creepy if you think about it too much.
It's at this point where we shift from exposition to a montage of bureaucracy. Five solid minutes in the middle of the movie are dedicated to the main characters running around, doing paperwork, being given the runaround, and generally wasting the audience's time. They also introduce a robot character named Bob who never shows up again. He's a robot lawyer, and (like all of the male robots in this little department) looks incredibly effete. This little montage ends with an extremely slow scene, before we get the inevitable Sean Bean betrayal. Because if Sean Bean is in something, he's either gotta die, betray someone, or both.
Stinger turns Jupiter over to Titus Abrasax, the Genocide Triplet who hired Caine to track down Jupiter.
See, he doesn't need to do that. All he'd have to do is phone up Caine and ask him to bring Jupiter to him and boom, problem solved. It's only because of this Caine figures out that Titus is evil.
Titus appears to have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with his mother, bordering on an Oedipus complex. Yes, he's trying to manipulate her, but he still seems a little too into his goals, which is to marry Jupiter.
Titus goes on to give Jupiter yet another new outfit, he treats her to dinner, and then goes on to explain what the liquid is that they use to restore their youth. Spoiler warning, it's people. Yes, they literally copied that little twist from Soylent Green, and it's just as anticlimactic as you'd think it would be.
When that's revealed, Jupiter is holding a tube of the stuff, and I figured she'd drop it, and it would shatter. To absolutely nobodies surprise, she did.
So, as I said before, Titus wants to marry Jupiter, which gets creepier the longer you think about it. For one thing, she looks just like his mother. Second, she's genetically identical to his mother. Third, she's in her twenties, and he's thousands of years old. And Jupiter doesn't seem to have any kind of negative reaction to this beyond simple bafflement. This is the point in the movie that I declared that it was Twilight In Space. There's an immortal vampiric character competing with a dog-man for the affections of a bland woman who's important because...
Anyways, the explanation he gives is that towards the end of her life, his mother was attempting to preserve the lives of humans, and he was converted to the same cause. He says he wishes for her to inherit his planets to keep his brother and sister from harvesting them, but due to a poorly-explained legal system, we're never given an explanation as to whether he could have just put her in his will or if he needed to marry her. Apparently Jupiter studied up on the Galactic Legal System during the montage earlier, so I would presume that planets can only be inherited by spouses or children in their legal system. I'd also presume prenup agreements don't exist, since Jupiter never asks for one. Then again, she seems incredibly thick during this whole bit, not questioning Titus's motives in the slightest, or asking to see Caine before Titus has had enough time to kill him, or doing anything that would be considered smart in this situation.
Titus does the inept villain thing where he tries to kill Caine without actually killing him. He tosses Caine out the airlock (An airlock filled with emergency air-pods that are easy to activate) without taking off any of his gear. This allows him to use his grav-boots to blast off his shackles and grab an emergency-pod, which forms into a space-suit around him.
The Aegis shows up right at the end of his air-supply (Completely ignoring that he could have just grabbed another of the ten or twenty emergency-suits he knocked out of the airlock.) and they bring him back to full-health.
Caine confronts Sting, who tells him that he needed the Soylent Green to heal his daughter, and Titus gave it to him in exchange for turning over Jupiter. There are some comments about Caine's past with Sting (Mentioning something about breaking through a field of Warhammers, with no explanation given as to what those are) and after Caine asks Sting if he's got anything else that could be used against him, they go ahead and suit up in giant robots.
While they're doing that, Jupiter is getting ready for her wedding to Titus. This section of the movie has a fairly heavy saturation of stuff it's ripped-off. The clothing and general design of the wedding-chapel seems fairly heavily influenced by The Hunger Games, the robots clearly take a lot of influence from Mobile Suit Gundam, Power Rangers, Pacific Rim, Neon Genesis Evangellion, and let's just throw Voltron and Metal Gear in for good measure, shall we?
The drop-pods are copies from Pacific Rim, which copied that from Evangellion, the combining nature of the robots is from Voltron and Power Rangers, and the escape-pod stuck in the chest, plus the robots massive freaking wings is obviously taken from Gundam. The ships look like they're pulled straight out of Firefly, The Matrix and/or Alien as well.
Then we get to the rest of the scene, which rips off the ending of Guardians of the Galaxy, with a touch of Enders Game and The Matrix and Matrix Revolutions tossed in for good measure.
Caine and Sting bust through the barricade, bust into the ship, and stop the wedding. The give Jupiter another change of clothes, and head back to Earth. We're just going to ignore the fact that busting through the hull of a ship should start to evacuate the atmosphere for a second and focus on the fact that Jupiter immediately deduces that Titus was lying without much evidence for that idea. Yeah, he was holding her hand onto the thing etching the ring on her finger, but as far as she knows, he could believe that he's about to die, so he could be trying to give her the rights to his planets before he's killed.
Even though Titus was going to kill Jupiter, she doesn't want him to die for this reason, and just tells Caine to get her out of there.
Spoiler warning, neither of the first two Genocide Triplets show up after they're encountered by Jupiter, and we don't even know that Kalique had any malevolent intentions, since the only character who says the she does is Titus, and he's got plenty of reason to make Jupiter distrust Kalique.
Our characters go back to Earth to find Jupiter's family has been abducted by the last of the Genocide Triplets, Balem. They're told this by one of Balem's people that she needs to come with him and he won't kill her family. Thing is, they don't have any reason to trust him. And the condition for freeing her family is turning over all of her Entitled possessions to Balem. And the worst part is that she agrees to this! So she goes to his base on (Surprise) Jupiter!
Fortunately, she brings along an Aegis escort. Stupidly enough, she doesn't bring one onto Balem's ship with her, so the Aegis escort, along with Caine and Stinger, is left behind outside of Jupiter.
Caine takes one of the robots down into Jupiter, and barely survives the descent.
Meanwhile, Jupiter keeps delaying signing her planets over to Balem. Mind you, there's no indication that she's doing this on purpose, especially since she doesn't know she's got any backup coming.
Caine shows up, kicks ass, saves Jupiter from being killed, and for some reason, gives her his gun, despite him being the one in a position to cover her getting her family to safety. They also share a kiss in this scene, which isn't a smart thing to do in combat, and isn't something I would have included if I was making the film. Then again, there are a lot of things in this movie that I'd either shorten, change, or cut entirely.
After saving her family, Jupiter displays some hitherto unknown fighting skills as she beats up Balemm. They then get pulled into a hole, and into a tractor-beam. They fight some more, and Balem confesses that he killed his mother. Balem gets the upper-hand, then Jupiter gets the upper-hand. Rather stupidly, neither of them take the opportunity to kill the other when they gain the upper-hand.
Caine defeats the dragonborn he was fighting and comes to rescue Jupiter after Balem dies, and they reenact the ending of Big Hero 6 almost to a T, after wasting about thirty seconds cooing at each other while the portal that allows them to exit Jupiter's atmosphere is collapsing. If they'd have hopped to it, they could have gotten onto the Aegis ship with about ten seconds to spare, rather than having to ride outside the ship.
After that, Jupiter goes back to her boring existence of cleaning toilets and houses. I don't know about you, but if I owned the Earth, and I came from practically poverty, I wouldn't clean another house in my life. I wouldn't even clean my OWN house, I'd buy a freaking space-ship (If I hadn't inherited one) and take all my family and friends with me to that. Then I'd reveal all this to the world and show them all the cool technology we've got. I wouldn't go back to menial labor and an earthbound existence after experiencing FTL travel like that.
Caine and Stinger get their wings back (Their wings were taken after their courtmartial) and Caine and Jupiter spend their free time flying around Chicago. Then the movie ends.
All in all, this movie sucked, and not just because it was unoriginal. You could rip off everything, and as long as you just made a decent movie, you'd be fine. Originality isn't an issue as far as I'm concerned, if it does something well, I'm fine with it. Unfortunately, this movie is both unoriginal, poorly written, and poorly paced.
A complete summary of everything this movie has copied from would be pretty freaking long, so I'm just going to list off a few that I didn't mention already in the review. There are shots copied from Star Wars, the entire end seems to have been copied in equal parts from Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed, and Uncharted, plenty of designs appear to be copied from Doctor Who, and the general concept of the movie just comes down to "Science-Fiction Cinderella Story"
That's literally all this movie is, Cinderella with a science-fiction aesthetic. Then we get to the characters, and hoo boy, are most of the characters unlikable. Jupiter Jones herself doesn't even really have any claim to main-character status, because she's equal parts stupid, and honestly, has no real purpose. Literally any other character could have served exactly the same purpose with zero change to the plot, and that's where you're faced with the dilemma of either cutting her out entirely, or giving her some kind of use. All she does is show the audience some cool stuff, and get rescued by Caine whenever she's in danger. And the one time she saves herself, it comes straight the hell out of nowhere, since she's never displayed any self-defense skills at any other point in the film.
I'll say this for it though, the effects were really good (When they weren't misaligning CGI enemies to Channing Tatum's kicks) and the music was freaking awesome. But that's a pair of small positive points compared to all the negative ones.
The inherent problem with the film is the same problem that Lord of Magna had, the back-story was way more interesting than the actual plot. The whole coincidental genetic replication bollocks just wasn't interesting to me. The society surrounding the industrialized genocide was a much more interesting idea, and they barely touched on that! Hell, the story of how Caine and Stinger got kicked out of the military would have made for a better movie. I'd have loved to see a movie about Sean Bean and Channing Tatum as space-cops! Maybe you want to make a movie about that instead?
In the end, I give this movie a 0.6*. I can't really tell what this movie was trying to do, or what kind of message it was trying to send, but whatever it was, they failed. The fact that the Wachowski's resorted to ripping off their own material at a few points in the film is testament enough to that.
Hopefully I'll be seeing you guys next week with Rodea: The Sky Soldier!

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