Sunday, 22 February 2015

Jupiter Ascending Review

The production design throughout is simply mesmerizing and is
matched by few films.

Jupiter Ascending is currently an easy target, from the writer and director Wachowski duo who have not had a critical and financial hit since the Matrix films, Jupiter Ascending is a film that has been released with little to no hype behind it. It is also certain to be a costly movie for those who financed it given its sizeable budget and its low box office takings thus far. However none of that should have any weight in whether one does or does not enjoy the film.

The most problematic portions of Jupiter Ascending are present from the introduction as we are introduced to the protagonists parents as they meet and the tragic events that eventually lead to the protagonists journey. The problem is these scenes are highly unnecessary and add little to a film that is crowded with a plethora of ideas and could have easily been cut with no negative effect on the film as a whole. Their is likewise an early scene between the 'villains' which screams of a scene that was added after the fact as the studio/film makers became worried that some may struggle with the amount of information presented throughout. Whilst it does make it clear what is happening, it also removes much of the mystery and spoils the bigger reveals turning what could and should have been a shocking reveals later in the film into something that fills more like filler, existing solely to catch the protagonist Jupiter Jones up with what the audience was sadly already spoon feed at the beginning of the film.

The gravity boots add an interesting and unique flair to the 
action throughout.

Jupiter Jones largely as a result is a character that I cared very little for, which is quite an issue given that she is the protagonist and as such the film is largely her journey. It doesn't help that she is largely a blank slate, defined by little else then cleaning toilets and her desire to purchase a telescope, hinting at a connection to her father who was also fascinated by the beauty of space. Had this point been given further development it could have tied in nicely with the idea of reincarnation present, it however is left as a loose end that is 'merely' one of but a few character traits for Jupiter.

That isn't to say that the entire cast is left with little to work with. Quite the contrary, the supporting cast and the 'world' that is created is far more interesting. Eddie Redmayne as Balem Abrasax is particularly enjoyable to watch who whilst veering into hammy territory is suitably and interestingly conflicted and unstable in a manner that ties in nicely with his 'relationship' to Jupiter. Other characters are far more standard but none the less are acted well and help propel the film and the world it is set in forward in an entertaining fashion. Which leads me to the films greatest strength. The realization of its world building and the visuals that are so vital in that realization.

Did I mention that the production design throughout is
simply mesmerizing.

I imagine few will doubt the visual flair that the Wachowskis bring to the films they direct, fewer yet will likely be disappointed by the lush and detailed visuals that exists not only to impress the viewer but to effectively further the story of the world. To say I was impressed would be quite the understatement with the production design being simply unmatched by any recent film. The 3d is likewise rather strong throughout and certainly helps highlight this aspect of the film whilst also adding notably throughout, especially to the numerous aerial battles present. The action to put simply is impressive and whilst it is far more standard in how it is shoot given what one may expect given the Wachowskis track record, it is still far more creative and exciting then all but a few films of recent. I imagine those who have complained about the extended finales of some recent blockbusters may take issue with the length of some of the action present, I however never felt it extended beyond its welcome.

Jupiter Ascending is not without its notable flaws, it however remains a visually impressive thrill ride throughout most of its runtime and thus comes highly recommended in spite of a handful of elements that disappoint.

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