The Wachowski siblings are some of the most inventive minds working in film today. Ever since Lana and Andy Wachowski broke on the cinema scene with The Matrix, they have worked tirelessly to push the technical and storytelling possibilities of the medium of film forward. Not all their ideas and projects have worked; in fact some of their projects may indeed have even been harmed by their ambition. In spite of an imperfect track record, their creativity and passion cannot be denied.
Which brings us to the subject of their new film, Jupiter Ascending.
It was only a matter of time before the Wachowski’s tackled the space epic, a sci-fi sub-genre known to be full of large canvases for world building, social commentary, and contemplating the very nature of human existence. I believe the only reason they hadn’t done one up to this point was because they thought it would be too obvious.
One thing that is hard for me to get past is how Channing Tatum looks in this film. I understand the attraction for Tatum to take this job as an actor. To take a role where they ugly him up a bit so that he can prove to himself and the world he is more than a pretty face is a commendable thing and I applaud him for it. Problem is, this trick will only work in the make-up works, and it simply doesn’t. Tatum looks silly. This make-up job makes him look ridiculous, he seems to be pouring out every ounce talent he has to try and make this character work, but it is hard to take him seriously when all I can think about is asking him if he wants me to throw the stick.
Mila Kunis as Jupiter fares better. Like Tatum, Kunis that has tried to step up her acting game in the past few years and seeks to be known for more than just her looks. We don’t really get a sense of who she is as a person, but Kunis is able to communicate a character that is both out of her depth and filled with a deep sense of wonder.
The effects look big and impressive, but from the Wachowskis I would expect no less. What I was hoping for in the trailer was a better sense of who these characters are. We seem to focus solely on what characters do rather than give us any idea about who they are. All the pretty effects are cool, but I want to connect with and care about these characters and that just isn’t happening with this trailer.
So am I excited about the movie? Hell yeah, I’m excited about the movie! Even if the movie is flashy incomprehensible garbage it’ll be one of the most challenging, interesting and original movies of the coming year. Bring it on, Andy and Lana, let’s see what you got!
So my fellow Space Cowboys, what are your thoughts of the trailer and the upcoming film? Deposit your thoughts in the comments below.