Nov 20, 2019
Jupiter Ascending (2015), a recap (part 10 of 12): Jupiter says yes to the dress
Previously on Jupiter Ascending: Jupiter wasted a hundred people… all over her shoes, which appropriately set the mood for Titus proposing marriage to his mother’s exact physical duplicate. Mr. Greeghan went to Earth to abduct Jupiter’s family, but more importantly, we learned you don’t treat your cousin like a goddamn chicken.
On the Aegis Cruiser, Caine has recovered from his near-death experience in the Void, and he goes down to the brig and opens up a cell and comes face to face with Stinger. He’s obviously feeling the sting (damn, I’m hilarious) of Stinger’s betrayal, but Caine is ready to forgive and forget because he really needs his help to rescue Jupiter. First, however, Caine wants an explanation.
It turns out Stinger sold everybody out because his daughter Kiza’s got “the Bug”, and he couldn’t afford the “ReCode” to save her. Which is apparently the reason for that mild cough Kiza had in part 4, which was so significant that I didn’t even consider it worth mentioning at the time.
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So Stinger did it all for his daughter, and Caine believes him, though he does take the time to ask, “Any other family issues I should know about?” And then it turns into a bit of a goof, as Caine asks, “Loans? Money problems?” Stinger assures him he has no other such issues, and that’s all Caine needs to know, and they let him out of the brig. And this is the end of the brief “Stinger double-cross” subplot, another plot wrinkle that adds basically nothing to the proceedings, and could have been easily cut from the film (why not just have Titus’s bounty hunters storm the Aegis Cruiser on their own? Especially since we never find out how Stinger helped them capture Jupiter, anyway) without affecting the rest of the story.
Cut to Jupiter, who’s about to follow through on marrying Titus. She’s in her wedding gown as attendants scatter flowers in her path, and I suppose if there’s one aspect I can’t fault the film for, it’s the costume design. Jupiter has on a lovely gown with all these metal flowers in her hair and this whole outfit is crying out for cosplay. And it appears many, many, many cosplayers have taken up that challenge. Yes, there’s such a thing as Jupiter Ascending cosplay. I can’t even.
She steps out into a giant hall and a huge crowd cheers for her. Jupiter cries out, “Holy crap!”
Meanwhile, Caine and Stinger are strapping themselves inside of pods which then slide inside of what I think are giant winged robots, but it’s kind of hard to tell what’s going on here. The Aegis Cruiser comes through a wormhole and drops both robots out into space, and Caine and Stinger fly towards Titus’s ship. The fembot on the Cruiser then contacts Titus’s ship to tell them to “prepare to be boarded”.
Back in the hall, Jupiter gasps as the platform she’s standing on hovers down over the heads of the adoring crowd, bringing her to where her groom Titus is waiting for her. Famulus is also here, whispering to Titus that the Aegis is demanding to board. So he tells her to do whatever it takes to keep them off the ship for as long as possible.
Back on the Aegis Cruiser, the fembot notes that Titus’s ship is launching “Warhammers”, which turn out to be a vast array of robotic mines that come together to form a minefield. We see Caine and Stinger as they prepare to maneuver their robots/ships through the minefield.
At the wedding, Titus assures Jupiter that all the witnesses in the hall are “Sims” (does EA get royalties?) and not real people, and their presence is a mere formality, because “these are matters of State, not of the heart!” And once again, Jupiter totally takes his word for it and doesn’t question anything.
Caine and Stinger blast their way through the Warhammers in an “exciting” action sequence where the screen turns into a huge hideous mess of pixels. And a close-up on Stinger’s eyes suggests he has bee-like vision that allows him to see in all directions at once, which gives him an advantage in the battle or something.
Meanwhile, the wedding ceremony begins. Titus says his vows and puts his hand on a tablet-like device to receive the “Signifying Bond”, which is a glowing tattoo around his ring finger. And then it’s Jupiter’s turn, while Caine and Stinger are still blasting their way to the ship. Jupiter says her vows, though you can tell she’s doing it quite reluctantly, and is just going through the motions, because obviously, Caine is the one she’d rather be marrying. She stumbles over the words, and Titus even has to prompt her at one point.
Caine and Stinger get clear of the Warhammers, but now they have to face the ship’s big laser guns. Back on the ship, it’s time for Jupiter to get her own Signifying Bond. Naturally, the tattoo is formed very, very slowly this time, while Caine is working hard to get a fix on her location. In the wedding hall, they hear explosions, and Jupiter takes her hand away from the tattoo machine, but then Titus just grabs her hand and holds it down.
She fights him off as Caine’s ship crashes into Titus’s ship, sending debris flying into the wedding hall. Caine himself then comes hover-skating into the hall, with no explanation for how he climbed out of the wreckage that fast, and no one is reacting to the fact that there should be a huge gaping hole in the spaceship’s hull right now that’s venting air into space.
Caine skates down to where Jupiter is standing and holds Titus at gunpoint. And now Jupiter finally realizes this whole thing was “nothing but a lie!” Caine reveals that Titus was going to murder Jupiter as soon as they were married, presumably to take possession of Earth, though no one ever says as much. Titus instantly gives up the pretense, telling Jupiter that his mother was never as “beautiful… or as gullible as you, my dear!”
And with that, they get Jupiter back aboard the Aegis Cruiser which then takes off through another wormhole. Which means that we’re right back where we started before Jupiter was even captured by Titus, and this entire wedding sequence could have been dropped without losing anything. And now the movie is starting to feel more and more like a collection of random action set pieces that don’t further the plot and don’t relate to each other at all.
Jupiter is aboard the Cruiser staring out a window as Caine enters. She’s despondent, however, because of Titus’ big betrayal, and tells him not to call her “Your Majesty” anymore. He starts to talk about the punishment in store for Titus, but she doesn’t care. “The more you care, the more the world finds ways to hurt you for it.” She then hands over the Rite of Pardon sheave thing that Titus gave her, and congratulates him, because he and Stinger are “officially Skyjackers again.”
He starts to say something, but she says she doesn’t want to talk, and she just wants to go “home”.
And that takes us to the Chicago skyline. Jupiter walks into her family’s house, accompanied by Caine, Stinger, and the fembot, and they quickly see the place has been trashed. Waiting for them is Mr. Night, who’s just sitting around and drinking wine by himself. How long was he sitting here alone in the dark, exactly?
He’s soon joined by Mr. Greeghan, and Jupiter demands to know where her family is, and she even smacks Mr. Night around a bit. The Aegis Captain is here, too, and she tells Night that he and his “lord” are trespassing on Earth. However, Night has come to offer a “proposal”: he wants Jupiter to meet with Lord Balem, at which time she will “abdicate [her] Title” in exchange for her family’s safety.
The Aegis Captain warns her not to do it. But Greeghan says the Aegis is welcome to accompany them to the meeting, to make sure Balem keeps up his end of the bargain. Caine says she’s not going anywhere, but Jupiter says she has no choice. She agrees to meet with Balem to save her family.
Cut to Jupiter (sigh, the planet) as both ships enter the Jovian atmosphere. Greeghan’s ship enters first, and then they start to close a force field behind them. The Aegis Captain sees what’s happening and orders full acceleration, but even though Lt. Elephant Man really punches it, they can’t get through the force field before it closes.
And now the Cruiser is totally screwed, I guess because they’re trapped in Jupiter’s atmosphere with no shielding, and the crewmen are yelling things like “We’ve lost all nav-com!” and “Grav-drive not responding!” and “Shields failing!” The Captain has no choice but to order the ship out of Jupiter’s atmosphere as quickly as possible.
Next time: Jupiter finally meets our main villain Balem, and let me assure you it’s exactly the titanic clash of wills you’re expecting. Yeah, that’s total bullshit, but who cares? There are only two more recap installments before I’m done with this crap!