Apr 25, 2019
Jupiter Ascending (2015), a recap (part 6 of 12): The secret to younger looking skin
Previously on Jupiter Ascending: After a history lesson about the Great Expansion and how we’re all part alien and also made of stars, Balem’s bounty hunters came for Jupiter. But luckily for Jupiter and Caine and Caine’s exceedingly lame dance/fight moves, some of those hunters were secretly working for Balem’s sister Kalique, who’s presumably not quite as evil.
Back on (the planet of) Jupiter, Balem is walking and talking with Mr. Night, saying he wants this “facility” running at full capacity for “an early Harvest”. Meanwhile, we see motionless people floating inside of glass chambers and being prodded with needles and other devices, and they’re either suspended in fluid or in zero-gravity beams, though it’s hard to tell.
Balem wants to know what kind of “grade” they’re getting from the “Skim”, and Mr. Night assures him it’s “premium grade” and a “particularly robust stock”, while we see more naked people floating around and being poked with needles. In fact, the chamber that Balem and Night are currently strolling through has a translucent floor that looks down upon all the naked people being probed. Mr. Night assures Balem that if they start the Harvest “later this century”, his “profit margins” will most likely overtake his “nearest competitor”.
But then Balem gasp-moans that he has one thing to make clear: He would gladly harvest “this planet” (I assume he means Earth) right now before he lets “her” take it away from him. So the Harvest would appear to have something to do with people being worked on in such a way as to generate a “premium grade” stock. Any guesses? I know it’s a toughie.
And now we cut to the ship carrying Jupiter (the person) as it reaches Kalique’s world, a ringed planet with a significant amount of red foliage. Will I Am is at the controls of the ship as he says, “Here we go.” Satellite radio?
The ship descends and is soon flying low over a river. And we see Caine hanging outside of the ship, and I’ll just assume he actually did get inside the ship at some point, and wasn’t just hanging outside during its entire journey through space, but who knows? Maybe he’s such a badass that he can survive in a vacuum. Caine jumps off the ship and uses his hover boots to fly down into a waterfall. He comes to a stop on the roof of a structure and watches the ship land on a platform near Kalique’s palace.
On the platform, the owl-man Maledictes greets Will I Am and Purple Hair Asian. He also has their payment, a case of “Premium Abrasax”, which are long, cylindrical containers full of milky fluid. Purple Hair punctures one with her knife, and then licks the knife like she’s a narc making sure she’s getting pure uncut heroin. She nods to Will I Am, who licks his lips.
In return for the stash, Maledictes now wants to see “Her Majesty”. Cut to Jupiter, in a long flowing dress, as she floats unconscious in a zero-G beam. Jupiter wakes up and gasps in horror while a disembodied voice speaks to her. The voice is basically the spacey version of Siri, cleverly named “Sendi”, which introduces itself as Jupiter’s “Chamber Presence”. Jupiter asks where she is, and Sendi informs her she’s in the “alcazar” of Kalique Abrasax. Jupiter wants to know what an alcazar is, and Kalique herself enters right at that moment to inform her it’s a “fancy way of saying my home.”
Kalique goes to shake Jupiter’s hand, and is taken aback at the sight of her. Kalique finally decides to show Jupiter why she’s so special. She takes her into a shrine filled with candles, and at the end of a path is a statue that I think is supposed to look exactly like Mila Kunis, because Jupiter sees it and says, “Could this get any weirder?”
Kalique explains that, as we’ve all basically figured out by now, Jupiter is an exact genetic duplicate of Kalique’s mother, the matriarch of the Abrasax clan. Kalique says that on her world, “genes have an almost spiritual significance,” and when the “exact same genes appear in the exact same order”, it’s considered “reincarnation” to them. I don’t think this film ever offers an explanation for why the exact same genes would ever appear in the exact same order, so I’ll just guess it happened because the human population is now so massive across multiple worlds that it’s like the “infinite monkey” thing. But I’m probably cutting this film too much slack.
Jupiter asks if Kalique’s mother was from Earth, but is informed that she was born “before your first cities were built”. So Jupiter gets a weirded-out look and asks if they’re “some kind of vampire race?” Kalique smiles, and says they are in fact “the cause of a lot of those myths”, because this movie is not going to stop until it explains every bit of legend and folklore in human history. But no, they’re not vampires. They’re humans, just like her.
Kalique asks Jupiter, “How old do you think I am?” Jupiter clearly tries to lowball it with, “Late forties?” But as it turns out, Kalique is over 14,000 years old, and her mother was “approaching her 91st millennium” when she died. Kalique adds that Jupiter would be “amazed how quickly it goes,” hah hah.
Jupiter wants to know how Kalique’s mother “actually died”, and it turns out she was murdered, and they don’t know who did it. Huh, I wonder if it’ll turn out to be the one cartoonishly evil character in this movie. Wouldn’t that be weird? But Kalique is hoping this “Recurrence” means she gets a second chance with her mother.
Meanwhile out in the palace, some German expressionist stormtroopers march past, just before Caine hover-skates into view. He then smells something, and a flash of images of Jupiter suggests he just caught a whiff of her. I’m guessing she smells like cigarettes and old urinal cakes.
And now we’re in some sort of royal bath as servants attend to Kalique, and a guy with a porcupine face turns dials on a console while lightning crashes just outside. Jupiter watches as a naked Kalique gets into a pool and completely submerges herself. More lightning flashes, and then Kalique emerges from the water all young again, which was totally not expected given the awful old age makeup they put on the actress in the first place.
Jupiter goes “Holy crap!” as the new, young Kalique walks toward her, giving us a completely gratuitous butt shot, and I’m thinking this is a stunt ass double, because that seems to be all the rage in movies nowadays. Though to be honest, I can’t even remember the last PG-13 movie I’ve seen that showed a naked female ass, so that’s one small positive in the movie’s favor (for those of us who happen to be into that sort of thing, of course).
Her servants dress her, and someone waves a wand over Kalique’s head that instantly dries her hair. She explains that these days, scientists have figured out to “replace deteriorating cells with new ones,” and Jupiter wonders if this process involves clones. But Kalique laughs and says clones lack “genetic plasticity”, and “a gene plague caused by cloning” nearly wiped out the human race millions of years ago.
She says that Earth is a “very small part of a very large industry” (hint, hint), and has Jupiter feel her skin to see how soft and supple it is. She says on Earth, people fight over resources like “oil, or minerals, or land!” But once you get to be immensely rich like her with access to unlimited material possessions, you learn there’s “only one resource worth fighting over, even killing for: more time!” I think I saw a movie like that once…
Caine is still hover-skating around the palace, where he’s spotted by a floating silver ball that the captions refer to as a “droid”. The droid announces in a stereotypically robotic voice, “Unidentified Lycantant!” Caine activates his holo-shield as guards shoot at him, revealing they have laser guns for hands, I think, and he fires back. After a brief laser gunfight, he takes them all out.
Next up: Caine finds out his “rescue” mission here at the palace is pretty much pointless, while we say farewell to Mr. Tskalikan, and hello to Mr. Greeghan! Also, Jupiter gets to visit Ouros, the birthplace of the human race, where she’s assigned a new robot companion. And that’s when things get very, very strange.