Oct 9, 2020
Jupiter Ascending (2015), a recap (part 7 of 12): Must love dogs
Previously on Jupiter Ascending: Jupiter arrived on the planet of Kalique Abrasax, and witnessed Kalique miraculously becoming… a little bit younger. We also learned about the not-very-shocking true nature of the Premium Abrasax “stock”, as well as the even-less-shocking revelation that infinite genetic monkeys copied Mama Abrasax to create Jupiter. Thankfully, Caine Wise is here to hover-skate to Jupiter’s… let’s say “rescue”.
Jupiter and Kalique continue their walk and talk, and Jupiter doesn’t know what she means when Kalique says Jupiter can “claim [her] Title”. Kalique explains that her mother left behind a “trust” for any “potential Recurrence”, which she simplifies for Jupiter by saying her mother essentially wrote her “future self into her will”. And in fact, once Jupiter claims her “Title”, the entire Earth will belong to her. Which means the Abrasax clan is cool with handing over an entire planet to a totally random person.
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Jupiter refuses to believe one person could own the Earth, but Kalique says that in this “world”, “people own things far more valuable” than a planet, though we never learn what those things might be. She says Jupiter will now be able to remain young and beautiful forever, as well as help her family, and so forth.
Meanwhile, Caine continues to evade the handless guards. He finally spots Jupiter, while guards are closing in on him. He skates down to where Kalique and Jupiter are talking and pulls his laser gun on Kalique. The guards confront him while Jupiter tries to convince Caine that “she’s on our side”, but according to Caine, the Abrasaxes “don’t know any side but their own!”
And then Maledictes shows up to inform Kalique that Caine has somehow “contacted the Aegis” at some point, and they’re entering orbit now. Kalique says this is “excellent” and just what she hoped for, meaning all the many action sequences we just witnessed where Caine battled armless guards in her palace were pointless, because she wasn’t holding Jupiter against her will and was planning to get the Aegis involved anyway. Accordingly, Caine looks around dumbly before lowering his gun.
Cut to another ship leaving Kalique’s planet. On board, we find Jupiter and Caine, and Jupiter is being welcomed by the crew of this “Aegis Cruiser”. Of course, they all call her “Your Majesty”, but she just wants them to call her “Jupe”.
Then a familiar voice calls out to her, and it turns out to be Stinger. Were we supposed to think he died during the fight with the bounty hunters back at his house? Actually, I kind of assumed he keeled over from the sheer exhaustion of all that exposition he had to deliver about the Commonwealth and the Great Expansion, but no, he’s alive and well and onboard the cruiser.
We see the rest of the ship’s crew, which appears to include a Fembot, along with, hilariously enough, a guy with an elephant’s face. Besides an intriguing potential career in porn, why in god’s name would anyone crossbreed a human and an elephant?
The captain of the ship, a relatively normal looking human woman, says they’ll be taking Jupiter to the “Commonwealth Ministry” and asks if there’s anything they can do for her. Jupiter’s still in her long, flowing gown, and she wants to know if they have anything she can “change into.” Then she makes a point of saying, “By myself. While I’m awake!” And behind her, Caine is all, “What?” Okay, that was kind of funny.
Back at Jupiter the Planet, we find Mr. Tskalikan on a concrete slab, and those harvesting knives and needles and saws are being trained on him. It seems he’s finally being punished for letting Jupiter escape Balem’s clutches. But he yells out that this is really the fault of the bounty hunters who betrayed Balem, because they’re actually working for his sister.
Balem is sitting in his chamber, listening to all this. He gives a wave, and then a hole opens up underneath Tskalikan, and he falls into a zero-G beam with all the other bodies and disappears. Balem talks to a new winged lizard guy by the name of “Mr. Greeghan”, and tells him to bring Jupiter to him. And for those wondering, Greeghan will turn out to be pretty much interchangeable with Tskalikan, in appearance as well as dialogue, so I have no idea why they even bothered.
Cut to Jupiter putting on a more practical outfit, specifically the form-fitting black ensemble seen on the movie’s poster. There’s a chime at the door, and Jupiter goes to answer it, but she doesn’t know “how to work this thing!” The door opens anyway, and it’s Caine with some pills that he wants Jupiter to take, because “portaling” can be “a little rough on the royal bowels!” Jupiter replies, “Well, my bowels are anything but royal! Heh heh heh!” Wow, how is she still single?
Caine says she’s an Abrasax now, but Jupiter insists she’s still a Jones, unless she gets mad, in which case she’s a “Bolotnikov”, which I assume is the Russian clan famous for shoving potato pancakes up people’s asses. And then dialogue reveals this Aegis Cruiser is currently headed to the “Hall of Titles”.
And now Jupiter decides to bring up that time that Caine “attacked an Entitled” (you know, when he ripped out a guy’s throat and got drummed out of the Legion?). Caine bristles at the mention of this event, but then admits he doesn’t know why he did it, and doesn’t really remember doing it. He suggests it was a “defect of my genomgineering”. Clearly, that’s spacey slang for “genomic engineering”, and that bit of lingo sure rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
Then the movie continues awkwardly forcing in a romance angle, as Jupiter suggests she too has a genetic defect that gives her “an uncanny ability to fall for men that don’t fall for me”. She wants to know if there’s “any way to fix it” as she gets really into Caine’s personal space. But he says she’s “royalty” and takes a step back. The fact is, he’s just a “Splice”, and even though Jupiter doesn’t know what that means, he has “more in common with a dog than I have with you.”
Jupiter replies with a strong contender for the worst line of the movie: “I love dogs! I’ve always loved dogs!”
Caine simply tells her to strap herself in before they “portal” and takes his leave. Once he’s gone, Jupiter repeats to herself, “I love dogs?” and groans at the stupidity of this. We’re right there with you, Jupiter.
Cut to the Cruiser coming through a big circular structure that looks like a giant Stargate, which must be the “portal” we’ve heard so much about. The music turns triumphant as the ship approaches a planet surrounded by massive man-made structures. This is apparently Ouros, the true birthplace of the human race. One of the crew members welcomes Jupiter to the “overpopulated, oozing cesspool we humbly call home!”
And then things abruptly take a detour for the weird. A guy comes aboard the ship who looks like an android, and he’s wearing more makeup than Jude Law’s gigolo robot. The captain of the Cruiser sees the robot approaching and tells Jupiter about how she was once part of a battle that killed two million soldiers, and she’d still rather be there than deal with these “bureaucrats”.
The robot guy introduces himself as “Intergalactic Advocate Bob”, and he’s here to assist Jupiter with the “Ascension Process”. Yes, contrary to what everyone’s been assuming, the title of this movie isn’t metaphorical at all. The movie is about a girl named Jupiter and she’s literally about to ascend. And just wait until you see what the Ascension Process involves.
Next up: The most bizarre and nonsensical part of the movie, and considering we just met a half-man/half-elephant, that’s no small statement. The entire story grinds to a halt for a lengthy homage to Brazil, complete with a cameo from Terry Gilliam himself to make the weirdness complete.