This movie was completed in 2013. It was supposed to come out last summer but for some reason a movie named after an astrological term starring a shirtless Channing Tatum was pushed back to the weekend before Valentine’s Day (Which just happened to be the week they debuted the Magic Mike XXL trailer). Hmm… It almost seems like this movie was such a disaster they’re trying to take advantage of other things to help it make money. But why, you ask?
How could this go wrong?
The Wachowski… brothers? …the Wachowskis struck gold with The Matrix. It almost tripled its’ 63 million budget domestically and almost made a half a billion dollars worldwide. Sure, its’ two sequels sucked, but who cares?!?!?! They both made a SHIT LOAD of money. The fact that Part III was widely regarded as a better film but made 300 million dollars less than Part II should have been a sign that things weren’t right, but the studio said, “Keep throwing money at them.”
Mostly at Channing Tatum…
Years would pass before the Wachowskis would direct again, but in the meantime they wrote V For Vendetta. It was directed by the Assistant Director on The Matrix and had a relatively low budget that it almost tripled so they must still be doing great, right? Let’s give them 120 million to remake an old anime show that’s been in development for 14 years (Speed Racer)!
It would lose 30 million dollars but the Wachowskis are still way in the black so why not give them 130 million to make a film out of a somewhat successful book? This movie would bomb domestically but ended up doing well overseas so it would end up turning a profit. This would all lead to the conclusion that we should give the Wachowskis more money than we ever have before to make Afflicted Jupiter. Anyways, based off its’ budget, Jupiter Retrograde only has a chance of making a profit if it does Matrix-type numbers so it’s going to need all the help it can get. Sadly, word of mouth isn’t going to be good for Jupiter In Opposition.
Even if it’s this mouth…
In 2009, the president of Warner Bros approached the Wachowskis about creating an original franchise. Lana got to work and put together a script that was like a cross between Homer’s The Odyssey and The Wizard of Oz, but Jupiter In The Fifth House is more like a cross between The Fifth Element, Harry Potter, and Babylon A.D. Oh, it’s basically The Matrix also.
Mercury Rising opens with Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones, a down-on-her-luck janitor. Her father was an amateur astronomer who was killed while attempting to stop robbers from stealing his telescope (Keep in mind, this has nothing to do with the overall galactic assassination plot we’re about to discover… just serendipity). Her mother is Russian, her father is dead, and she was born on a boat to America in international waters… so she has no country!
The next scene is Channing Tatum breaking into a fertility clinic (Which definitively proves that this film was partially written by a transgender woman). He plays a wolf/human splice who has been chosen to track down Jupiter because his powerful sense of smell can track anyone through space… except that you can’t smell genes? And there’s no air in space? Whatever. He gets jumped by other bounty hunters outside the clinic and escapes them using his gravity roller blades.
Meanwhile, Jupiter is back to work cleaning toilets and helping Sex In The City caricatures pick out dresses. Then she sees the woman being attacked by aliens. Instead of doing anything about it, she takes a picture of them. They rush her and… nothing happens (And they have no memory of the aliens). Jupiter then continues with her plan to sell her eggs to pay for her cousin’s big screen TV and a telescope for herself. This is really my big problem with Venus Embrace. They never explain anything. They never tell you how no one on Earth ever notices the aliens. There’s no Men In Black Neuralizer or anything. I mostly wish I knew what it was so I could erase this from my memory.
The Fresh Prince of the galaxy (Which is on Orion’s belt)
Anyways, as she’s being anesthetized at the fertility clinic she realizes that the doctors are aliens. Why they went through all the trouble of replacing the doctors and nurses when they had her dead to rights the night before and just made her forget, I don’t know. They confirm her genetic code though, and instead of shooting her with a laser gun or something they just cut off the oxygen to her anesthesia mask. At that point, Channing Tatum bursts through the door and saves her from giving up her eggs as he has for so many other women.
Now we move into one of the major positives from Ghosts Of Mars- the visual effects. All I could think of when watching this scene in 3D was, “If the new Star Wars movie looks half this good it’s going to be the greatest thing ever”. There is a fantastic space battle through Chicago. Once finished, they head to the suburbs and track down Channing Tatum’s old commanding officer, Sean Bean! Sean Bean is part bee (…or something) and bees are trained to recognize royalty so they figure out that Jupiter is a queen. Then bounty hunters come and take her (Leaving a crop circle behind). She is delivered to Kalique Abrasax (Who is played by a woman who is actually named Tuppence) who reveals that Jupiter is an exact genetic copy of her mother (In our world, we call it reincarnation instant breakfast). She explains less than the bare minimum of what’s going before Channing Tatum rollerblades in to save her, only to reveal that the intergalactic police will be taking her.
Now, there is an unnecessary fifteen minute scene that shows how comically confounding the bureaucracy of the galactic government is. She is bounced from department to department until she bribes someone and then finally gets cleared to be who she is after a strange scene with Terry Gilliam (Former Monty Python star and director of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas). Then we meet her… son? Titus (Douglas Booth). He reveals to her that there are many humans in the galaxy and that they seed worlds with humans and once they become overpopulated they harvest them to make the ooze from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II which keeps the rest of them young.
BABIES!!! THEY’RE BABIES!!!
Now, this is a pretty cool plot… but using humans as fodder to maintain your own society is the exact plot of The Matrix. There’s also some stuff about the three siblings competing for the galactic market or something. I don’t know. Like I said, they don’t really explain much. She tries to have sex with Channing Tatum (Natch). Her… son? says he’ll reinstate him if she agrees to marry him and then tries to kill him. He comes back and rescues her, bada bing bada boom. They fight these things called warhammers that seem to do nothing except get in the way (And yet you do have lasers). But wait! The other brother has kidnapped her family! Now she has to go deal with Balem (Eddie Redmayne) whose
sole purpose in life is to do a bad impression of Voldemort. He has kidnapped her family! She refuses to condemn everyone on Earth to die in exchange for sparing her family, Channing Tatum shows up with his fucking dyed blonde goatee and saves the day, she goes back to being a janitor even though she owns the entire fucking planet of Earth, credits.
If I’m being perfectly honest (And I am drunk), Son of Neptune isn’t a terrible flick. The visual effects are amazing (It’s definitely one of the few films to take advantage of the full scope of 3D). The story is pretty interesting. The acting isn’t bad (Except for Tatum and not-quite-Voldemort). The cinematography is cool. It should have been OK. Somehow though, the whole thing came off as rushed. It seemed to me like the Wachowskis pitched this as a new trilogy and somebody told them no. They barely scratch the surface of what is going on in the universe (Or even just this small corner of it). It was very hard to follow whom was allied with whom.
The other main problem I had with it is that it suffered from Coyote Ugly syndrome. This movie was portrayed as a PG-13 sci-fi thriller, much like the way Coyote Ugly was a chick flick masquerading as a guy movie. This was a children’s movie portrayed as an adult movie. I really don’t even know how it got a PG-13. There’s very little graphic violence and almost no cursing. Add to that the occasional atrocious dialogue and it starts losing points quickly. Then there’s the guyliner, dyejob, and ears on Channing Tatum.
What’s wrong with that?
It’s like visually this movie was the hottest girl in school. The plot was the shy attractive girl with glasses that you just want to get to know more about. The dialogue was the star football player everyone adores (Who occasionally says something racist in public) and the acting was the people in the drama club trying way too hard. This should have been a great four years in high school but in the yearbook you got voted, “Least likely to succeed”. They should have written a movie that validated astrology instead of merely referencing it. A movie that proves astrology is a thing starring Channing Tatum that opens before Valentine’s Day (Written by Nicholas Sparks) would have cracked the top ten of all time highest grossing films (Quick, Clint! Write that down!). Instead, Jupiter Ascending is quickly descending to Uranus. C-
T-Bagz was born when Saturn was in the fifth house