Director: The Wachowskis
On a rainy day at the end of half-term I accompanied two 12-year olds to the Wachowskis first original sci-fi script since The Matrix. The 12 certificate is probably an indicator that there would be less cod philosophy and more pecs. The set up sees Mila Kunis as Jupiter, eking out a life as a frankly unconvincing house cleaner whose life is changed etc when she discovers she’s a member of an aristocratic family who rule the galaxy. But of course as many people want her dead as want to help her, and only Metallica-roadie look alike Tatum Channing and – oh my it’s Sean Bean as a roguish world-weary ex-cop – are really on her side.
It looks great – at times a bonkers mix of cyberpunk, medieval gothic and Boris Vallejo fantasy. Mila gets hitched in a spaceship that appears to have been cut and shunted with Salisbury Cathedral. Bean and Eddie Redmayne chew the scenery most satifactorily as the Brits Who Can Act.
Mila Kunis does not have much to do except look scared, control the world’s bee population, and run away again in the company of some male saviour. Until the end where she gets a fight of her own as it is the twenty-first century after all.
Or is it? The whole thing is so ridiculous from start to finish It’s as if a lost Flash Gordon script travelled through time mysteriously unchanged, until one day some studio exec somewhere happened to blow the dust off it and decide it was a good use of 190 million dollars. Perhaps the very definition of a guilty pleasure film, and like Avatar I would catch it on the big screen when the clunking script and acting can be more easily set against the great visuals.
I don’t think it’s too much of a spolier to say the Wachowskis had a great idea – that the world’s population is in fact unaware that it is is enslaved to an invisible set of owners…and that they revisit it here. Stick to what you know.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Said Matrix, and popcorn sci-fi with the emphasis on visuals over script. So not Primer or Looper, but definitely Pacific Rim or Tron legacy. It is not as bad as Tron Legacy, but what is.