An original science-fiction space epic hailing entirely from the minds of writer-directors Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski? It sure sounds good in concept, what with these fearlessly idiosyncratic filmmakers having most recently spearheaded 2008's dazzling, rainbow-hued "Speed Racer" and 2012's sweeping, underappreciated "Cloud Atlas," the latter no less than a staggering cinematic watermark adapted from David Mitchell's thought-uncrackable 2004 novel. This time, the Wachowskis have achingly lost their way, their ambitions not coming close to matching the reality of what has made its way onto the screen. From the tedious, exposition-heavy script to the thoroughly bizarre cast trapped in soulless roles, the $175-million "Jupiter Ascending" is an interesting, albeit clunky, mess until it ceases holding any appeal at all. It ultimately reminds of David Lynch's notoriously bloated, overblown 1984 bomb, "Dune," and this is not a comparison which any movie should be thrilled to receive.
Jupiter "Please, Call Me Jupe" Jones (Mila Kunis) was born on a ship headed for America, an illegal alien without a home, without a country, and without a father. Twenty-plus years later, she lives in Chicago with her aunt's family, rising every morning at 4:45 a.m. to work as a housekeeper alongside mother Aleksa (Maria Doyle Kennedy). She hates the lower-middle class life she has always led, without a clue that she shares the exact genetic code of an extraterrestrial dynasty's recently deceased matriarch. When a half-man, half-wolf skyjacker named Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) narrowly saves Jupiter from a rogue attack, she is gradually clued into her extraordinary lineage as the royal heir to Earth. Snatched and transported to a distant planet where the revered House of Abrasax resides, Jupiter soon meets royal siblings Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Titus (Douglas Booth) and Kalique (Tuppence Middleton). The three of them harbor ulterior motives for seeking out this woman who is a perfect match for their late mother—a fact that Caine knows will only end in disaster if he does not save Jupiter from their clutches.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review