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Jupiter Ascending: Pure Wachowski, Dazzling, Confusing, Frustrating

Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum attend the premiere Jupiter Ascending' in Hollywood.  Critics have savaged the film, but we find some redeeming value in the latest offering from the Wachowskis.

Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum attend the premiere Jupiter Ascending’ in Hollywood. Critics have savaged the film, but we find some redeeming value in the latest offering from the Wachowskis. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Eddie Redmayne deliver some cringe-worthy moments in the new film “Jupiter Ascending,” but critics who are savaging it are overlooking dazzling effects and ambitious possibilities from Directors Lana and Andy Wachowski.

There are mesmerizing moments in the film just like their last outing “Cloud Atlas.”

Mila Kunis From One Throne to Another in Jupiter Ascending Trailer

It’s been 15 years since we first met them, and they dropped the first “Matrix” movie on us. And, once again, the Wachowskis are nothing if not ambitious in their film-making.

Look at it this way: they should be applauded, yet again, for pushing the envelope on motion picture making, even if the end result has some shortcomings.

Kunis is Jupiter, whose birth is somewhat shrouded in mystery. She works as a maid in Chicago, but makes a surprising discovery; she’s potentially humankind’s savior… got that?

Mila Kunis a Hot Goddess in New Jupiter Ascending Trailer (watch!)

As it turns out, Earth’s inhabitants are being harvested by a superior race, led by Redmayne’s character, Balem Abrasax, a member of alien royalty whose family engages in the inter-galactic trading in “youth serum.”

Earthlings are merely livestock to the ruling clan based elsewhere in the cosmos.

Crisis erupts when his family suddenly finds itself in a power struggle following the unexpected demise of their matriarch, who has ruled over them for 100,000 years.

Balem is locked in a struggle with siblings Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) and Titus (Douglas Booth) for control of their inheritance.

The feuding turns earthward when it’s discovered that Jupiter is a also an heir to the throne, although she doesn’t know about her royal connections.

Caine Wise (Tatum) is a genetically engineered interplanetary warrior who is sent to earth to let her in on her royal lineage and protect her from her feuding siblings.

Caine is aided by a pair of flying shoes. That puts him somewhere between a Silver Surfer and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator.

Tatum is more than up to the part and proves he can be an action hero and succeeds admirably.

Kunis is more than a pretty face, yet doesn’t quite possess the presence of a leading lady.

Sean Bean, as an acquaintance of Caine’s is terrific, although his character suddenly disappears for a time. Also, fascinating is a cameo appearance by Terry Gilliam.

He plays a small but important part in the film. Those who are movie savvy will likely see the similarities to Gilliam’s film “Brazil.” Funny enough, but still, talk about confusing.

“Jupiter Ascending” is totally ambitious and terrifically confusing. Often, various set pieces look like re-cycled outtakes from their older epics. Stunning maybe, but you get the sense you’ve seen it before.

Despite a terrific score from Michael Giacchino , the film is confusing, frustrating and troubling. It’s a step back for the Wachowski’s. But if you like their work, it’s a sight and sound treat despite its flaws.

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