Jupiter Ascending

In theory, I love the Wachowski brand of film making.  When I’m watching their movies, I can actually visualize the two of them in a room together, hands framing imaginary shots, amping each other up over this or that set piece.  Their style is so visual that you almost want to watch their movies with the sound turned off.

But that’s also true of Michael Bay movies.  They’re essentially a series of loud, brash set pieces strung together by laughable exposition and truly clumsy dialogue housed in a plot so full of holes it almost ceases to exist.

Just being able to put together a truly amazing visual experience doesn’t make you a filmmaker.  It makes you a cinematographer.  A filmmaker is a storyteller who uses film as their medium.

Bound and The Matrix are two of the best stories ever told on film.  So how did the siblings who wrote those scripts get to the Matrix sequels, Speed Racer and, now, Jupiter Ascending?

The beauty of this movie is undeniable.  The colors, the design, the special effects, the over the top action sequences are all superior to almost any other science fiction film in recent history.  Mila Kunis, it goes without saying, is a treasure.  Channing Tatum is… muscular.

The problem is that it’s all in service of a story we’ve heard told a thousand times in exactly these words.  And when the story is not equal to its window dressing , it starts to look a little bit like putting on a full blown Italian opera just so your ten-year-old niece can sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star at center stage.

It would be interesting to see what they could do if they let someone else write the story.  It would have to be better than this noisy, chaotic retread however beautiful the eye candy.

 

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