The nice thing about hearing about it from many different avenues is that my expectations were very low and it exceeded them. I honestly cannot say that it is a good movie, but it is less bad than I was expecting—see: very low expectations. I thought I was going to have to force myself to find things to like about it, and in fact I did not, I genuinely enjoyed myself. I think I'm going to go with "delightfully batshit" as my two-word summary.
The thing is, as many non-professional-reviewers have said, it is a straight-up unashamed id-tastic power fantasy for young women. And somewhat along the lines of what metaphortunate has been saying about women's fantasies WRT Fifty Shades, it's hard for me not to see the over-the-top-ness of it being devalued by a lot of critics because it's got a young woman at the center. Putting Fifty Shades aside, because that is a discussion I do not want to host for a number of reasons:
Jupiter Ascending is a secret-heir power fantasy, kitchen-sink variety, with: gorgeously expansive visuals; lots of chase and fight scenes; inexplicable scenery chewing; what I would swear is a Princess Bride homage; good momentum except for an ill-advised bureaucracy parody part-way through (it's only 2:07, which is downright speedy for a Wachowski sibs movie); non-white people who may only be in secondary roles but at least don't die for the white heroes (I wanna be Captain Tsing); and a critique of capitalism that is crashingly unsubtle but is also less insipid than Interstellar's big message. There are way, way worse recipes for a big-budget SFF movie. And, seriously: I did not have to force myself to enjoy it.
And now, some spoilers.
I require all the novel-length post-movie fics in which Jupiter comes to terms with power, goes and dismantles the economic system of the whozit family, and along the way explores just how it "really works for" her when Caine calls her "Your Majesty." Ahem.
I liked Mila Kunis! Channing Tatum didn't get much to do, only the barest hint of what must lead to things like If Channing Tatum Were Your Boyfriend (y'all have seen the Chris Evans version, yes?) and definitely not enough to overcome my finding him physically unattractive (it's the neck), but he was fine. Sean Bean didn't die! I have no idea what Eddie Redmayne was doing, but I was prepared for it, so I didn't care.
Tell me the wedding scene wasn't a Princess Bride homage? Seriously.
There was a lot of Jupiter getting rescued, which worried me about the trailer. But she made the smart and the moral choice when it came down to it and she beat the shit out of Redmayne's character and so I'm cool with it overall.
I'm sure by tomorrow I will have a million plot holes. But nothing really jumped out at me during, probably because except for the ill-advised bureaucracy sequence (seriously, what a momentum kill), it moved very briskly and linearly.
One of the things that I've been writing in my head and never posting is how I used to love roller skating in high school and, recently at SteelyKid's school roller skating party night, laced up some skates and tried it after not skating since probably high school itself. I miss the days when I would revel in the sheer speed of it without fear, but after several circuits I was getting the hang of it back, and even with the fear tinge the adrenaline felt pretty good. Suddenly my urge to go back is much stronger. Can't imagine why . . .
I couldn't figure out what the egg selling plot was doing, and then the "Soylent Green is people" part of the plot kicked in and I realized, oh, it's underlining the theme! (The telescope was the kind of characterization shortcut that these movies tend to suffer from, so again, not good, but not uniquely bad.)
The visual joke of the crop circle when the mercenaries-or-whatever lifted off from the cornfield! That and "I love dogs" got laughs in our theater.
I appreciate the idea behind using the menstrual pad as a bandage but, uh, the adhesive and the absorbant part are on opposite sides, so that doesn't really work...?
Uh, I think I had more but I just had to get a coughing Pip back to sleep, so I'll leave it for edits or comments or reading other people's posts.
Ant-Man, which I continue to resent the existence of.
Chappie, which looks like a completely different movie in the new trailer. I'm still not sure it's a movie I want to see (that body language keeps driving me nuts, it's so obviously human-inna-suit), but the difference between that and the first trailer is kind of stunning.
Spy. I am allergic to the kind of comedy that Melissa McCarthy does, as I am to almost all movie comedy, frankly, but I hope she kicks ass in the movie and at the box office.
Run All Night, which looks like a positively loathsome specimen of the Liam Neeson-as-inexplicable-badass subgenre.
Ted 2. I somehow missed the existence of the first movie and I wish that happy state of affairs had continued, as I am fairly sure brain cells died in protest at watching that trailer.
Focus, which is a Will Smith con-man movie, and which I might love or loathe depending on how the tone, treatment of women, etc., shakes out.