A complete waste of YOUR time.

- 1

Film Review © 2015 by Trip Reynolds

Action/Drama/Science Fiction

Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski as "The Wachowskis." Screenplay by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski as "The Wachowskis." Produced by Grant Hill, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski. Executive produced by Bruce Berman and Roberto Malerba.

Starring: Mila Kunis (as Jupiter Jones), Channing Tatum (as half-human-half-dog-formerly winged-warrior, Caine Wise), Sean Bean (as sage to Caine Wise, and former winged-warrior, Stinger Apini), Eddie Redmayne (as the evil Balem Abrasax), Douglas Booth (as Balem's whimpish brother, Titus Abrasax), Tuppence Middleton (as Balem's devious sister, Kalique Abrasax), Nikki Amuka-Bird (as Biomika Tsing), Christina Cole (as Gemma Chatterjee), Nicholas A. Newman (as Nesh), Ramon Tikaram (as Phylo Percadium), Ariyon Bakare (as Greeghan), Maria Doyle Kennedy (as Aleksa), and a host of others.

This film should be re-titled, "Jupiter Descending," because this is the perfect example of how to spend $176 million to make a film look really, really good while concurrently failing to conceive and execute a script to mirror the beautiful look of the film; and consequently, only earning back $45,253,750 U.S. domestic (total worldwide: $152,253,750).

The story draws us into a space opera centered around a long-lost or reincarnated heiress, Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), and she and her ancient and powerful family hold the key to the fate of the entire empire, including Earth, and yada, yada, yada. Despite similarities to certain characterizations found in the Star Wars film franchise, Mila Kunis is no Princess Leia, and we're not moved to care about "the fate of the universe" in this film. To counter-balance the youth represented by Caine Wise, the very talented Sean Bean, as Stinger Apini, exists as a seasoned warrior to give film depth. Make no mistake, film is strictly by the numbers:

1. For good (Dudley Do-Right): Channing Tatum stars as the half-human-half-dog-formerly winged-warrior, Caine Wise, who flys through the air on a pseudo-skate board fighting to protect heiress Jupiter Jones. The basis for all action and adventure in the film is centered around Wise, our action hero.

2. Damsel in Distress (Nell Fenwick): Only petite women, perferably 5'4" or shorter, like Mila Kunis [Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) is 5'1" tall], can be considered as a "damsel" to be repeatedly saved by action hero, Caine Wise. Unfortunately, the following actresses are either too tall, to old, too athletic, or they convey too much on-screen "intelligence" to be cast as Jupiter Jones: Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, Milla Jovovich, Pam Grier, Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, Michelle Yeoh, Rhona Mitra, Geena Davis, Lucy Lawless, Katie Sackhoff, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Garner, Uma Thurman, Michelle Rodriguez, Margaret "Maggie Q" Quigley, Gina Carano, Brigitte Nielsen, Kristanna Loken, Zoë Bell, Nicole Bilderback, Summer Glau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ming-Na Wen, Daryl Hannah, Demi Moore, and even Judi Dench. Absent a major script re-write, intelligent and powerful women cannot be expected to effectively lead an empire, even in the make-believe world of science fiction.

3. For evil (Snidely Whiplash): Yet another British actor, Eddie Redmayne, stars as the "evil mastermind" Balem Abrasax, and as expected he's out for total conquest and power. Sadly, Redmayne's role, look, and demeanor appear as nothing more than a ripoff of Tom Hiddleston as "Loki" from the "Thor" film franchise.

4. F/X: Add explosive and loud special effects, futuristic weapons, and pseudo-important galactic battles that ultimately have no memorable value.

5. For PG-13 pseudo-sex: As expected, film ends with our lovey-dovey couple Dudley Do-Right (Caine) and Damsel-in-Distress (Jones) literally flying off into the sunset.

Film is genré specific, and way-way-way-too-predictable. Given its predictability, film is unnecessarily long and should have been cut from 127 minutes to 90 minutes - or even better, cut film to 43 minutes then add 17 minutes of commercials for broadcast on commercial television or cable's Syfy Channel. Direction by "The Wachowskis" is perfunctory, and their attempt to make film into a pseudo-epic is a total failure. Editing by Alexander Berner is competent but by the numbers. Cinematograpy by John Toll, Art Direction supervised by Charlie Revai, and overall character of special effects give film a clean and polished look.

Recommendation: Don't waste your time. There's nothing memorable here.