It’s unfortunate that “Jupiter Ascending,” the latest sci-fi adventure from the Wachowski directing team of “Matrix” fame, wasn’t released last summer like originally scheduled.
The film, which believes itself to be the second coming of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, is more like the Jar Jar Binks of the sci-fi genre, heavily derided, over-animated and just not that good.
It certainly doesn’t seem like the extra seven months taken following its July 18 expected release date helped the overall aesthetic of the film.
To be sure, “Jupiter Ascending” is a terrible film lacking in any semblance of character development, cohesive plot or sense of purpose.
But films like “Jupiter Ascending” are necessary evils that remind us just how fortunate we are for movies like “Edge of Tomorrow” or “Guardians of the Galaxy,” science fiction films with an actual point of view and something interesting to hold on to.
Or better still, “Jupiter Ascending” should make viewers more appreciative of Christopher Nolan’s space odyssey, “Interstellar,” which hits on a lot of the same plot points — previously home-bound hero rockets off into unknown worlds to save the people of Earth in a big-budget, special effects heavy adventure film.
Everything that “Jupiter Ascending” doesn’t have going for it — quality acting performances, adept storytelling, cinematically beautiful visual effects — “Interstellar” has in spades.
Nolan’s movie is a little long and pretty wordy, but there aren’t any flying dinosaur battles ripped from the excess pages of “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
Bad acting abounds in “Jupiter Ascending,” from Mila Kunis as the damsel in distress to her one-note savior, Channing Tatum.
The worst offender, however, is Academy Award nominee Eddie Redmayne, who awkwardly whispers his way through the film like he’s hoping viewers don’t remember he’s the same actor who just won a BAFTA (British Academy) award for best actor as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.”
It’s plausible to think that producers believed the name recognition of Tatum and Kunis would be enough to get people in the door early and the $175 million they spent on special effects would keep buzz going.
Except “Jupiter Ascending” is so bad, you won’t find yourself caring so much about the plight of the characters as much as how long before the film ends so you can go home.
The biggest problem with this sci-fi dud is that it’s another poor outing for originality in filmmaking, strengthening the case for Hollywood producers to spend more money (and waste viewers’ time) with unnecessary sequels.