I had been excited to see Jupiter Ascending since I first saw the trailer last year. There’s an ordinary girl who is suddenly told that she is royalty, there is also a space saga story, fighter spaceship laser fights, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, and the genius Wachowski brothers (well, they’re not brothers anymore, but brother and sister, since one of them is now a transgender person).
I really wanted to know the story behind why Mila Kunis was suddenly considered royalty, and why people were trying to kill her.
Why the Bad Reviews?
Before watching the movie, I did a quick scan of the different movie reviews online, and wondered why it was universally panned. We went to see it anyway.
After seeing the movie, I was left shaking my head – not because I found the movie bad – I actually really liked it, enough to want to re-watch it when it becomes available for home viewing – I was shaking my head because I can’t understand how most people thought it was such an awful movie.
I thought Jupiter Ascending was awesome!
I am very big on myths and legends. I love Star Trek: Voyager. I loved the James Spader Stargate movie. I like John Carter when all the critics hated it. I like “origin” stories and stories that deal with ancient civilizations or alien civilizations. One of the first books I ever bought for myself as a kid was Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. I like books, shows and movies that introduce us to a different mythos (Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms). I also like watching The History Channel’s Ancient Aliens. I am up to date on Annunaki mythology.
The story of Jupiter Ascending is a grand one for a movie. I like how it doesn’t dumb down the storyline to make sure that even the stupidest moviegoer will get it.
The Wachowskis are able to incorporate the “greys”, reptilians, dragons, genetically-engineered cross-species humans, Hindu gods, bee behavior, spaceships, crop circles, alien abduction procedures, immortality, harvesting humans, reincarnation, genetics, Frankenstein, bureaucracy, capitalism, and much more I might have missed, into this movie. Critics say that they threw everything in it but the kitchen sink. Whereas I think it’s genius. I dare you to come up with a great story that ties up all these elements.
This is the first mainstream, non-B-movie film I can recall seeing that has dealt with all the topics above. And they didn’t shy away from telling their story like it is. There is no ambiguity about the story. I hate movies where they don’t tell you the real deal – where they leave the conclusion up to the viewer’s interpretation – or cop out movies where they string you along thinking that, for example, that ancient humans were created by aliens, and then take it back by introducing doubt towards the end by explaining that it was all a hoax or a dream.
Why are B movies the only ones that don’t shy away from dealing with those topics? They are legitimately interesting subjects to me. The reason I watch B movies is because they are the ones that have the interesting stuff – aliens, witches, warlocks, jinns, knights templar, various secret societies, lost secrets, quests, fey, dragons… you get the idea.
Back to the movie – sure, there are things that can be improved. People complained about the dialog, the pacing, the editing, how unrealistic it was, and how they can’t relate to the characters. Some people were just bored, lost or confused when watching the movie. I can see how it can be confusing to the uninitiated. The movie didn’t waste any time to explain things to those who were not up to date on “conspiracy theories”. It just goes along and tells the story. They didn’t really bother to explain things that may be unfamiliar to mainstream folks. For example, it doesn’t explicitly tell you that “this is where our legends of dragons came from”, but really, any person with any amount of intelligence should be able to conclude that on their own. The movie didn’t delve into explaining any of these fairly obvious things.
The filmmakers had a vision, had an epic story, and had a message. Those who can understand the movie will get it and appreciate it. I bet Jupiter Ascending is going to become a cult classic.
I watched the movie for the story – I don’t really care about it having witty dialogue or character development or being realistic – it’s obviously not that kind of movie, so why are critics complaining about the lack?
It was unintentionally (or maybe intentionally) funny that the two main characters found the time to kiss when everything around them was blowing up and bad guys were shooting at them, but oh well. It didn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the movie 🙂
There are so many layers to this movie that I think I could rewatch it several times and realize something new.
The movie explains that humans were seeded by the aliens 100,000 years ago and is actually owned by the royal family of the universe. It also explains how the dinosaurs went extinct. It explains why Earth was basically left alone despite a universe full of other alien life forms – the human population was left to grow until such time when it can be “harvested”. I guess this explains all the “grey” alien abduction & probe experiences we’ve all heard about – those greys were doing medical experiments and testing!
It takes killing 100 humans to extract a bottle of “fountain of youth juice” (forgot what they called it in the movie). This fountain of youth juice is the most expensive thing in the universe because it gives someone time. Time is the most important thing in the universe – more than wealth or any other material thing.
To use the fountain of youth juice, you have to submerge yourself in a pool and use a bit of lightning and tada! Your old body goes back to when your cells/ body was at its young, optimal state. The people there live for millenia, some up to 90,000 years! The lightning effect reminds one of how “Frankenstein’s monster-y” it is without actually telling you directly. Frankenstein’s monster was made from the body parts of many people and then given life. In this movie, people get to live also from “harvesting” the bodies of many people. Most people will miss that reference. But things like this are the genius of the Wachowskis.
Obviously, since nobody died from old age, overpopulation on that planet ensued. Again, they don’t say it directly but through an offhand comment by one of the characters. Does it seem like a familiar theme? Our modern advances have improved life expectancy and mortality rates, and we are at the biggest population count ever in our history. The movie is saying “Hello, take note! This is where we’re headed.”
The space cop pilot is an elephant-looking species called Nesh. Doesn’t it remind you of Ganesha, the Hindu god “remover of obstacles”? Since the characters could have lived a long time, maybe the movie is hinting that the Hindu god Ganesha was based on this pilot. Maybe the ancient Indians saw this pilot blowing up “obstacles” with his space ship and revered him for that.
Also, doesn’t Abrasax sound a lot like Abraxas? I’ve heard the word in sci-fi, comics, myths and magic. Abraxas is considered as “the Great Archon”, something like one of the, if not the, original god. It makes sense that they would name the royalty of the universe the House of Abrasax in this movie – if they were the ones who seeded the Earth, then our ancients would relate the word Abraxas or Abrasax with supreme deity.
Mila Kunis’s character Jupiter Jones is the daughter of a son of a British diplomat in Russia. Her mother is Russian. I am amazed at how many online reviewers missed that. No, she didn’t make up her last name just so she can fit in better in America, as some people claim. Her father’s last name really is Jones. It was clearly explained in the beginning of the movie, but apparently, not clearly enough for some people *shake head*.
Her father was killed in a home invasion / robbery. Her distraught, pregnant mother fled (illegally) to the US where her sister’s family lived and gave birth to Jupiter while on the boat.
Jupiter has the same genetic signature as the dead Queen of the Universe. In more advanced parts of the universe, they believe that this means she is the reincarnation of the dead queen.
The remaining members of the royal family try to kill / control her for her inheritance. It’s customary in their society to leave an inheritance for your reincarnated self – just in case you reincarnate, you can get all your stuff back. Wouldn’t this be cool?
There were a lot of fight scenes which I thought were pretty cool. Channing Tatum, with his anti-gravity boots, fights with alien bounty hunters, dragon/reptilian aliens, and spaceships. There were a lot of things exploding. It was actually pretty fun.
That’s basically the story – it’s pretty straightforward with very few twists. But I am just awed by how they were able to incorporate all those themes into one movie.
In the end, Jupiter chooses to go back to her life with a new appreciation for it, and it’s fine. It’s not like she threw away her queenship. She just chose to spend this life with the people she loved – her family; and understanding that springing all this on them would be too much – they can’t handle it. She also chose to use her queenship to protect earth.
Besides, all this is very new to her. Remember that everything happened within the span of a few days. I think she made the right call in going back to her life and then slowly learning things and eventually stepping up to her role as a good queen. That’s my conclusion, anyway 🙂
If she had chosen to immediately embrace being queen of the universe and started lording it over, I would find her suspect, untrustworthy, arrogant, rash, suddenly unlikable, and very likely to turn evil.
Jupiter Ascending tells a big, epic story that spans the universe. It is visually stunning with beautiful scenery, costumes and fight sequences. I wouldn’t mind if it was a bit longer so it could tell more of their universe. The basic story is simple, but the genius of the Wachowskis make it so much more – it opens your mind to the other possibilities of how we humans came to be, shows you greed and how far people are willing to go, has layers of info, and weaves in myths, legends and lore into the story, too.
I think it is a work of unappreciated genius. Maybe the themes are too complicated and the story too complex that it just goes over most people’s heads. To be fair, there were a few flaws in the movie in terms of pacing and editing (prolonged on some parts and rushed on others), and they had their fair share of creative license, but overall I really liked this movie and look forward to rewatching it.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!