In ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ the universe gets a new queen

February 6, 2015 12:21 AM

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In ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ the universe gets a new queen

At the Sundance Film Festival a few weeks ago, George Lucas sat on a panel with festival head Robert Redford and railed against modern multiplex movies, which he described as “more and more circus without substance.” He then went on to note that, “I get blamed a lot for that.” As well he should be, and for the latest Exhibit A you need look no further than “Jupiter Ascending,” a very, very silly 3-D sci-fi action extravaganza from the increasingly floundering Andy and Lana Wachowski (”The Matrix,” “Cloud Atlas”). Dazzling to behold yet puny of imagination, the movie takes the “Star Wars” formula — hero myths nicked from Joseph Campbell, cutting-edge visual effects, comic-strip dialogue, goofy-looking aliens — and reduces it to generic Big Box shelf product.

Some decent actors are thrown under the spaceship along the way. Mila Kunis manages to retain most of her dignity as Jupiter Jones, a Russian immigrant cleaning woman in Chicago who is revealed — no surprise to anyone who knows the genre — to be the genetic reincarnation of the Queen of the Universe...

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