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YMMV / Jupiter Ascending

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The Matriarch. Pretty much all information about what she was like comes from her children, all of whom are Unreliable Narrators.
    • Kalique. Is she actually in denial of the family business' nature, or does she just want to ease Jupiter into it (since she's the only one of the three at least not initially planning to kill her)?
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Jupiter Jones. According to the Wachowskis, they wanted to evoke a protagonist akin to Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and avoid having her use her fists instead of her empathy. Whether or not this was a good decision is up to the viewer. One camp considers her a Pinball Protagonist even as that character type goes, not to mention she gets a lot of Character Shilling that isn't quite warranted. Another camp feels that she behaves realistically, given her circumstances, and goes through some Character Development to justify her prior passivity. A third lies somewhere in the middle, feeling that Jupiter was a good attempt at a subversion of Real Women Don't Wear Dresses, but could have used a couple of rewrites to become a better character.
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    • Balem Abrasax: some viewers find him extremely entertaining to watch due to Eddie Redmayne's way-over-the-top performance, while others hate him for the exact same reasons.
  • Bile Fascination: The story is a popular target of hatred due to it being so ludicrous, which is probably the main reason for curious moviegoers to give it a watch.
  • Cliché Storm: A Rags to Royalty Plucky Girl meets a Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot Supersoldier and falls in love with him, while they team up to fight through each member of a sibling villain trio who want to destroy humanity. In the end, the A God Am I Non-Action Big Bad receives a Disney Villain Death, Everybody Lives, and the two protagonists get a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Critical Research Failure: At one point, Jupiter uses a maxi pad as a makeshift bandage for Caine's wound. That is a decent idea on its face,note  except she applies the sticky side to the wound, not the other side actually designed for absorbing blood. One would think her actress, Mila Kunis, would know herself which side does which.
  • Cult Classic:
    • While it didn't gather enough critical or commercial success to warrant a franchise, it did garner a fanbase—especially among female sci-fi fans who appreciate the campy nature and idiosyncratic take on gender roles. Quite a few found it to be an archetypal teenage girl's first fanfic brought to life on the big screen; not good, by any means, but certainly a lot of fun to watch.
    • The film has a ridiculously huge fanbase within the concept art and VFX community. Around the time of release, many concept artists, especially those who worked on the film, cited it to be "an evolution of the sci-fi genre", and even going so far as to claim that its box office bomb status was due to "the masses not being ready for it".
    • There are also a number of fans who genuinely love it for its ambition and lack of irony, a welcome change from most modern blockbusters, as well Mila Kunis' and Channing Tatum's performances.
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  • Designated Hero: Pretty much none of the people who help Jupiter express any moral objection to mass murder in and of itself except Titus, who's lying, and planning to kill her. The Aegis crew want to protect her legal inheritance, not because doing so will stop mass murder, but because they believe it's legally hers and don't like Balem trying to dodge inheritance law.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The two bounty hunters who go after Jupiter; there were probably many watching who wished the film could have been about them instead.
    • Kalique has proven to be quite the darling on Tumblr, having gained a small but vocal fanbase.
    • Diomika Tsing, the no-nonsense Aegis ship captain who is also a Reasonable Authority Figure.
    • Jupiter's mother, Aleksa, particularly for fans of Maria Doyle Kennedy. Bonus points that she's the most tolerable of Jupiter's family and actually has a backstory.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Kalique compliments on Caine's, ahem, physique, when he barges into her palace without a shirt.
    • The driving force of the film is the conflict between the Abrasax siblings and Jupiter, the genetic recurrence of their mother. While the Abrasax patriarch is never mentioned or seen, the two Abrasax brothers definitely have an unhealthy interest in their mother. Titus is The Casanova whose defining scene is a Zero-G Spot pseudo-orgy of heavy petting. He plans to secure his claim to Earth by marrying Jupiter, and all that implies.
    • Balem's main goal is to kill Jupiter to retain his claim to Earth. Pretty standard villain fare, until his Villainous Breakdown culminates in the reveal that he murdered their mother in the first place, and he screams "YOU BEGGED ME TO DO IT!!" Combined with his disrespect for her personal space, that shows just obsessed with her he is.
    • The scene before Titus tries to kill Caine reeks of Ho Yay, complete with whispering his evil plan in Caine's ear while circling around him.
    • Kalique disrobes in front of Jupiter, looks at her seductively, and then rises from her bath with a glamorous young body in one of the few nude scenes in the movie.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With The Eagle (2011), owing to a shared Channing Tatum.
  • Genius Bonus: Stinger explains to Jupiter that the truth birthplace of humanity is in the Cunabulum System. "Incunabulum" is Latin for "birthplace" or "cradle".
  • Ham and Cheese: Clearly Eddie Redmayne enjoyed playing Balem, with his borderline Camp Gay demeanor and his Suddenly SHOUTING! moments.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Eddie Redmayne's extreme overacting in this film became even funnier after he won an Academy Award sixteen days after it began its North American release for The Theory of Everything, with many joking that it was really for this film.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Jupiter doesn’t seem to have a problem with Katherine walking around in her underwear right in front of her, or Kalique stripping naked and bathing in front of her there.
    • As this movie does have Channing Tatum, there's a bit of it between Caine and Stinger. Their fight when they're reunited is not unlike that of a Slap-Slap-Kiss couple. Stinger is the one person Caine trusts above everyone else and Caine regards Stinger being stripped of his rank as My Greatest Failure.
      • Kiza: "don't drag me into your male mating rituals"
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Jupiter and Caine. If something or someone stands in a room with them, they get shipped with them.
  • Narm:
    • Caine explains to Jupiter that they can't be a couple, seriously and heartfelt-ly, because he has more in common with a dog than with her. And instead of telling him that she doesn't care about things like that, or that being a genetic hybrid doesn't make him inferior, whatever people say… she says she loves dogs. It's so offbeat and out of place that it's hilarious, especially given her equally serious delivery. After Caine leaves moments later, Jupiter winces and repeats it to herself, lampshading just how awkward the line was.
    • Just about any time Balem switches from his slow, deliberate speaking style to Suddenly SHOUTING!. It always comes out of nowhere and sounds more petulant than threatening. For that matter, Balem's slow manner of speech feels very affected, like he's trying to sound interesting. Nathan Rabin compares this whisper to acting as if "being strangled by ghosts or invisible assassins." Eddie Redmayne later admitted he auditioned for Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens using the exact same performance, which he suspects destroyed his chance for getting it.
    • Greeghan's line to Caine before Caine kills him is either really threatening or gut-bustingly hilarious.
      Greeghan: You hurt me. And I'm going to make you regret it.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Advocate Bob, an android pro bono lawyer assigned to Jupiter to help her be officially recognized as the rightful owner of Earth.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The Wachowskis tried to make a grand space opera à la Star Wars, with laser dogfights in Chicago and a Rags to Riches heroine taking down the evils of space capitalism. Instead, they made a movie populated by bad DeviantArt OCs in which bees recognize space royalty, plot threads dangle like fringe on '70s leather jackets, and a fallen-angel werewolf fights with rocket skates. Best watched with funny friends in all its trashy glory.
  • Squick:
    • Titus proposes to marry Jupiter—who's clearly stated and shown to be uncannily similar to his recently deceased mother in genetic structure, appearance, and personality. Balem also seems disturbingly fixated on his mother, and thus on Jupiter. There's Balem's reaction to seeing a hologram recording of Jupiter bound and gagged in a hospital gown.
    • The romantic thread in general gets a little icky. Jupiter tries to come onto Caine with the phrase "I love dogs!"
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Many interesting side characters deserved far more screen time, e.g. Kalique (for her cunning), the bounty hunters (just to know their backstory), and Jupiter's family.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The conflict between Jupiter and her mother is only hinted at. The opening narration states that Aleksa became bitter and cynical after her husband was murdered, implying that Jupiter grew up distant from her. Mother and daughter learning to reconnect through the events of the film could have made a good plot. Instead Aleksa is barely featured.
    • Some feel that the plot wasn't suited for a film's running time and would have been better served as a TV series. Especially given all the interesting characters and locations that didn't get touched on too much in the film.
    • The premise in general. An ordinary girl from Earth finds out she’s queen of the Earth, which is threatened by her evil… previous incarnation’s children? However, rather than having her stepping up and trying to defend her realm, she spends most of her time getting rescued by her Love Interest before going back home to her crappy cleaning job despite the fact there are still two villains out there murdering billions of lifeforms to make a profit and live forever.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • Whereas Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, and Tuppence Middleton overact on purpose as the villainous Abrasax siblings, Mila Kunis commits to the material to make herself entirely believable as the Only Sane Man swept into all the wackiness. One very genuine scene in the film has Titus revealing that humans are being harvested to preserve their youth. Mila's performance is shockingly good there, and probably would have been better had the story been more coherent.
    • Channing Tatum also imbues Caine with a lot of personality and genuine emotion. He says "I have more in common with a dog than I have with you" with a kind of hopeless bitterness that turns him into a Stoic Woobie of sorts.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: The extended sequence of various aliens chasing Jupiter and Caine around Chicago. Notably, the only plot-relevant thing—Caine's ship getting destroyed, requiring them to find Stinger—happens at the beginning of the scene. The rest is just a series of encounters with aliens who are quickly dealt with and don't come into the plot again. Then again, the entire scene is running on Rule of Cool.
  • The Un-Twist: Balem is revealed as his mother's murderer in a way that suggests it was supposed to be a dramatic twist. Given that he's established from the beginning to be determined to own the Earth, he's the only obvious culprit from the moment Kalique reveals their mother was murdered.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • In an interview after production wrapped, Lana mentioned that the effects in this movie were much more complex than those in Cloud Atlas. They spent a lot of time and energy creating a unique feel for every set, from the claustrophobic and crowded Orous to the ostentation of Titus' ship.
    • The scene of the hunters chasing Caine and Jupiter around Chicago has some truly stunning cinematography. Some of the shots were pulled off by having helicopters fly around the city, catching as many possible angles as they could.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Jupiter Jones can't seem to get another job besides cleaning houses, making it odd that they cast the lovely Mila Kunis to play her. One would think that—although Mila herself says that Jupiter is too lazy to improve her situation—she could at least find a more comfortable job as a receptionist or some other PR figure.
  • The Woobie:
    • Aleksa Jones. Maybe not at first, but think about it: she loses her husband at the very beginning of the movie, then her daughter gets kidnapped, and for most of the movie, she's worried sick about her. She and the rest of the family then get kidnapped and almost killed by Balem, and in the end, her mind gets wiped after Jupiter saves her, so that she doesn't remember anything that happened over the past few days. To say she goes through a lot would be correct.
    • Caine. He's born the runt of his litter, is essentially considered genetically defective even among other Splices, whom the human ruling class treat horribly, manages to claw his way up to legendary soldier status only to be dishonourably discharged for attacking an Entitled, and then spends an uncertain amount of time in the Deadland before being sprung to find Jupiter. Poor guy needs a hug.


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