Friday, 19 February 2016

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

I'm not sure what possessed anyone to spend $180 million dollars on a latter day Flash Gordon as told from the perspective of the Dale Arden character.  Perhaps the Wachowskis have kissed the Blarney Stone a whole bunch of times.  Or maybe they have some very incriminating photos of some very important people.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad it happened.  It's not that this is a good film, really.  Narratively speaking it is little more than a succession of action set pieces separated by scenes of gorgeous people wearing gorgeous frocks and spouting prose so overwrought that calling it 'melodramatic' doesn't seem to do it justice.  And yet, it's kind of compelling in its kitchen sink sensibility of baroque spacecraft, slinky catgirls, hunky wolfboys and sudden wingfic moments.

In order words, the only thing stopping it from being totally awesome is the absence of a stonking Queen soundtrack.

Trust me, I'm not the first person to notice the Flash Gordon thing.

The plot?  Oh, it's some malarkey about space vampires harvesting worlds for their life energy and the young woman who - thanks to said space vampires having some odd inheritance laws - is the only person who can prevent them from snacking on good old planet Earth.  And of course in the process she meets a handsome young man with a penchant for taking his shirt off.

But frankly, none of the last paragraph really matters, because it's all just an excuse for the kind of "turn the volume to 11" space opera that nobody makes any more.  Or ever, really.  This is not a movie that goes off the rails: it's a movie that never knew there were rails to begin with.

And for that, I and The Mary Sue salute it.

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