Upon the release of the visually stunning but narratively confusingteaser trailer for “Jupiter Ascending” last December, we predicted that the “official trailer” for the Wachowskis’ latest extravaganza would reveal more of the film’s actual story.
Now, more than three months later, we finally have that official trailer — and, as we predicted, it shows that there’s indeed a plot of sorts to go along with all the sweet eye candy … not the least of which is Mila Kunis, whose title character is the center of the most dramatic rags-to-riches story of all time (and perhaps in the entire universe!).￼
“Jupiter Ascending” is interplanetary and follows the basic plot structure of the Wachowskis’s own “The Matrix,” albeit with a gender-swap on two of the main characters. Kunis’s Jupiter is, like Keanu Reeves’s Neo before her, a ‘cog in the machine’ and plods through a relatively unremarkable life on Earth. She is a maid, but she soon discovers she is destined for much much greater things when a heavily tattooed Channing Tatum, as Caine, rescues her. (Tatum’s character reminds us of lady Trinity in “The Matrix.”)
[Related: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Is About ‘Wormholes’]
Caine, a genetically engineered ex-bounty hunter of sorts, takes her down the rabbit hole (or is it a wormhole?), introducing the heroine-to-be to a sprawling universe of royal outer-space families … with her as the rightful owner of Earth itself, a title that doesn’t sit too well with various nefarious parties.
That’s right: Mila Kunis is Queen of the Planet. And she shares at least one passionate kiss with Channing Tatum. Could this be the best screen role of 2014?
There’s a lot more to this scenario, including large-winged beasties, mech suits that recall the battle armor of the soldiers of Zion in “The Matrix Revolutions,” and a pouting, screaming Eddie Redmayne, channeling Jack Gleeson’s Joffrey Baratheon on “Game of Thrones” as the spoiled brat in charge. It all comes with a very expensive price tag, which the Wachowskis can apparently still demand even after the underperforming box office returns of “Speed Racer” (2008) and “Cloud Atlas” (2012).
Hey, as derivative as it may seem, at least it’s derivative of stuff that was made by the same filmmaking team. And in yet another summer full of mostly reboots (“Godzilla”), superhero sequels (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) and non-superhero sequels (Tatum’s own “22 Jump Street,” “Transformers; Age of Extinction”), that counts as downright original.