There is a popular children’s book series called “Magic Eye” that features dazzling, colorful pictures of what initially seem to be total nonsense, but when you stare at them long enough, 3-D images pop out. The film “Jupiter Ascending” features similarly dazzling nonsense, but no matter how long I stared, multiple dimensions never appeared.
“Jupiter Ascending” is one of the most visually opulent movies I have seen in a long time. It looks amazing, and the action sequences are thrilling. It is clear the studio forked out a mountain of cash to pay for the visual effects and that makes it all the more frustrating that they skimped on so many other crucial areas.
For all the money they spent on action sequences, Channing Tatum’s alien make-up looks like it came from some Halloween kit you would buy for your kid at Walmart. He has ridiculous pointy ears and frosted hair. He looks like a punk rock, space Legolas.
His dull character does not make up for it either. He needs to give up on trying to be a boring action hero and stick to movies like “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike,” which play to his strengths, being charmingly obtuse and having a six-pack. His pairing with Mila Kunis makes sense. In real life, she is engaged to a man with similar strengths.
“Jupiter Ascending” is a textbook example of a film that is about style over substance. Any attempt at a story results in convoluted gibberish involving aliens with long, goofy names doing dull, goofy things to set up the next action sequence. It is difficult to understand most of the movie, especially the fact that someone who looks like Mila Kunis is working as a janitor.
“Jupiter Ascending” is another failed attempt by the directors, Lana and Andy Wachowski, to recapture the sci-fi magic they had previously created in “The Matrix,” and it gets five blue pills out of ten.