Oct 30, 2019
Jupiter Ascending (2015): a recap (part 5 of 12): Caine is the perfect hunting (and dancing) machine
Previously on Jupiter Ascending: After the not-so-newsworthy battle in the streets of Chicago, Caine hotwired a Chevy Impala and took Jupiter to meet another de-winged ex-Legionairre man-animal hybrid named Stinger, who as the name subtly suggests, is part-man, part-bee. Stinger wasn’t happy about seeing Caine again, because he’s the guy evidently responsible for Stinger’s fall from grace and exile to Earth, but changed his tune when his extremely honest bees told him that Jupiter is royalty, and also possibly a “Recurrence”.
In another room in Stinger’s house, Jupiter is on the phone with her cousin Vladie, who finally shares what the “life-changing” thing is he wanted the egg donation money for: a new TV with “two million pixels of resolution”, which he does in fact refer to as “life-changing”. Cut to him as he plays Xbox on the new TV. And his son is playing with a Roomba, I think? Hours of fun for the whole family!
Jupiter asks if her mom is there, but Vladie says she went out with Aunt Nino, and they were worried when she didn’t come home last night, but Vladie covered for her. He knows the procedure was a “cakewalk” and that it was the “easiest money we ever made! Cha-ching!” Jupiter breaks the news that the egg donation “didn’t happen”, and there was an “accident at the clinic”, and Vladie immediately leaps to his feet, spilling all the peanut shells that have accumulated in his lap.
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He completely freaks out and screams, “I can’t catch a break! I cannot catch a single break!” He says Jupiter will have to “reschedule” the procedure immediately, but she just wants him to tell her mom she’s okay and quickly ends the call. Right after she hangs up, Vladie says, “I already spent the money!”, in case that wasn’t already obvious, and it appears he’ll have to return everything. And then the kid tells him he’s in trouble, and thus ends this comic relief portion of our program, because as we’re well aware, the rest of this movie is nothing but tense, heavy-handed drama.
Cut to Stinger in his living room, using an ear phone to listen to a device with antennae that send up electrical arcs. He reports to Caine and Jupiter that Balem has ordered a “blockade” and no one’s getting off this planet, but “Aegis Command” says that as soon as Jupiter’s “geneprint” is verified, they can get an “injunction” which will get them to “Orous”. He says they’re sending a “Cruiser” that will be here tomorrow, but a shirtless Caine paces around and says they won’t last until then.
He knows they need a plan, as well as “firepower”, because if Jupiter is actually who they think she is, “we won’t get off this planet without a fight!” Stinger throws him keys and tells him the “stash” is out back, and Caine goes off to find it.
Jupiter wonders why Caine has been acting weird since they got here. Stinger says, “Caine is… complicated.” We get sunlit shots of Caine in a shed opening up the “stash” of weaponry and examining big high-tech guns, while in voiceover, Stinger explains that Caine is a “Lycantant without a pack”, and he “had the bad luck to be born half-albino. Runt of the litter.” Half-albino? Is that the reason for the flesh-colored beard?
It turns out there’s more tragedy in Caine’s past: the “Splicer that bred him” sold him off to the Legion “for a loss”, which left him all alone, and when a Lycantant doesn’t have a pack, “usually they waste away and die. Unless they become like him. Fearless. Relentless. Perfect hunting machines.” All of this is said to more footage of shirtless Caine gazing at and posing with weapons, so it’s basically one of those “this guy’s good” speeches that was once mandatory in every action film.
Stinger says Caine was a great soldier, so Jupiter wants to know why he was court-martialed. It turns out he “attacked an Entitled. He bit him.” What’s more, he “tore his throat out.” Which means Caine Wise has exactly the same tragic backstory as Patrick Swayze in Road House. Just try and tell me I’m wrong. Anyway, Wade Garrett, I mean, Stinger says that Caine was under his command at the time, so he “took the blame”, and that’s why they both lost their wings.
Cut to Caine concentrating as his elfin ears pick up a sound. He walks outside, sensing something.
Meanwhile, Jupiter notices that Stinger has a mark on his neck, and so does Caine, but they’re “slightly different”. Stinger says it’s the “brand of the Splicer”, presumably whatever designers/scientists combined human and animal DNA to create Caine and Stinger. Stinger says his particular Splicer was a woman who “loved bees,” which is the reason he’s part-bee. And I’ll just assume this means Stinger has the ability to eat nectar and puke up honey, though that unfortunately never happens in this movie.
Jupiter says her father would be “freaking out” right now, presumably at the notion of a vast interstellar civilization, and she knows it would totally change everything if people found out. She wants to know the “truth” about everything, so Stinger gives her the lowdown.
He walks into another room as he explains that Earth is not the birthplace of the human race. It actually originated on a planet “in the Cunabulum System called Ouros”, where the human race began one billion of “your years” ago. Earth was “discovered” during the “Great Expansion”, and at that time it was inhabited by a “branch-species of Sauri-sapian, a dangerous human predator called a Sargon”.
He dusts off a tablet-looking device that creates three-dimensional holograms of the galaxy. It also plays triumphant music as it displays a banner that reads “The Great Expansion” (in English, mind you). He says that before humanity could colonize Earth, they had to manufacture “a large-scale extinction event”. The tablet in his lap sparks and explodes, and Stinger says, “Damn budget cuts!” What does that even mean?
Jupiter figures out the “branch-species of Sauri-sapian” was actually the dinosaurs, and that “your people” had to kill off the dinosaurs to settle Earth. Stinger says that technically, they’re “your people, Majesty.”
Cut to a corn field, with dudes wearing what look like low-budget Borg costumes as they walk around carrying weapons. And among them are Will I Am and Monocle Guy, the bounty hunters we previously met during the fertility clinic ambush on Caine. Some of the gray alien Keepers are lurking among the cornstalks as well, and the Asian hunter with the purple hair is also here on her hovering speeder bike, and she cloaks herself.
Back in the house, Stinger says that according to “Commonwealth records”, Earth was “seeded by Abrasax Industries” 100,000 years ago, and they spliced their DNA with an “indigenous species” to create Earthlings as we know them today. They did this with the intent of growing a huge population, because once a planet’s population “exceeds the planet’s ability to sustain it”, that’s when it becomes “ripe for Harvest”. And frankly, I’m kind of amazed Stinger hasn’t passed out from all the exposition he’s had to deliver in this scene.
And then Jupiter is distracted when all the bees freak out around her. Caine walks in to say “they’re here”, and has Stinger take Jupiter to safety. Soon, Caine starts blasting at a wall with a big laser rifle. Stinger takes Jupiter out the back way, where he gets into a laser gunfight with some of the Keepers.
Caine blasts out a wall, and then those Borg cosplayers come charging in, and Caine activates his holo-shield to fight them. At one point, he takes out a guy with a slow-motion cartwheel.
Meanwhile out back, Stinger is doing battle with Keepers and blowing them away. Then he comes face to face with Monocle Guy, who’s holding a giant cannon. Stinger grumbles, “Beeswax!” You see, it’s his way of saying “Shit!” because beeswax is, well, not exactly bee shit, but in the general vicinity.
Stinger gets hit with a wave of force that sends him flying through the air. Monocle Guy (who’s named “Falque”, at least according to the subtitles), turns his cannon on Jupiter and says, “Gotcha!” But then all those bees start attacking Falque (instinctively protecting Jupiter, I guess?), and he shoots his sonic cannon at the bees instead of Jupiter, while she runs past him and into the cornfield.
Inside the house, Caine is still fighting bad guys, and throwing a knife into one guy’s head, and getting hit with a sonic beam.
Jupiter continues to run through the cornfield, being pursued by Keepers. Suddenly, she comes upon Falque, who somehow got out in front of her. He aims his sonic cannon and fires at her, taking her down as well as carving out a big rut in the cornfield (and I’m guessing the screenshot below reminds you of something, but far be it for me to ruin the “surprise” at the end of this scene). Jupiter holds her head as her nose bleeds and all she hears is a high-pitched whine.
She passes out, and a whole lot of Keepers suddenly de-cloak and close in on her. One Keeper appears to have a glowing ring, but before he can do anything with it, someone starts shooting at them. It’s Purple Hair Asian on her speeder bike, blasting away at all the Keepers. Falque is about to fire back, but Will I Am pops up behind him and takes him out. So it would appear the three bounty hunters aren’t working together anymore, and Will I Am and Purple Hair Asian give each other satisfied looks.
And then a wall of the house blows out, and Caine comes skating out on his hover boots. He emerges just in time to see Will I Am and Purple Hair Asian hovering up into a ship, taking the unconscious Jupiter with them.
Caine runs to the ship just as it’s taking off, and manages to grab onto one of those floating detached pieces, and is able to climb aboard the ship as it flies off. And the ship leaves behind a pattern in the cornfield that… looks exactly like crop circles. Sigh. Thus “explaining” crop circles the same way this movie just explained the extinction of the dinosaurs and the origins of Homo Sapiens, in the most detestable, cutesy way possible.
Cut to the ship instantly leaving Earth’s atmosphere and flying into a DS9-style wormhole.
Next time: Jupiter journeys to the planet/palace of Kalique Abrasax, and we at long last find out why the Abrasax family is so interested in her. Also, we begin to learn the shocking truth behind the Harvest, though I think it’ll only come as a shock to those who haven’t seen or heard of Soylent Green.