Jul 16, 2020
Jupiter Ascending (2015), a recap (part 9 of 12): My dinner with Titus
Previously on Jupiter Ascending: The Wachowskis created a lengthy tribute reel to Brazil and made us all sit through it. But Stinger provided an actual stinger to the proceedings when he double-crossed Jupiter and Caine and allowed them to be taken captive by Titus Abrasax. Jupiter had dinner with Titus under protest, which, as you’d expect, involved putting on a sexy gown.
While the dinner is going on, Caine is trying to break out of his cell by grabbing the bars above his head, lifting up his legs, and putting his hover boots against the bars. The bars start to glow red, so I guess these things put out some serious heat. But then sparks fly and Caine falls down and lands on his back. Are the bars electrified? I have no idea.
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Then it’s back to dinner with Jupiter and Titus. He says he feels like he already knows so much about her, because he was “very close” to his mother. And as we’ll see in a minute, he’s not kidding. In fact, he knows, as Jupiter herself admitted in her voiceover intro, that she always expects “the worst in people”. He says that her “distrust” of the world “has made it difficult for you to fall in love!” Somehow, he knows that she has in fact fallen in love at last, specifically with Caine. She denies it, but Titus says his mother was also a “terrible liar”.
Jupiter thinks Titus is just doing everything he can to keep her from claiming her Title to Earth. But he says Kalique lied to her about that. Funny, I don’t recall Kalique saying one word about Titus when she and Jupiter met, so I’ll just assume that’s a bit of dialogue that got left on the cutting room floor.
Titus explains that Kalique is actually in “competition” with Balem, and wants Earth for herself. But Titus, unlike his two siblings, isn’t interested in all that. In fact, he knew from the moment Jupiter’s geneprint was first verified that he would have only one question to ask her, but before he gets to that, he wants to show her something.
He brings her inside a giant freezer, and here, there are stacks and stacks of cylindrical containers full of Abrasax Premium Spooge. Titus explains it goes by different names, including “ReGenX”, “ReCell”, and “Nectar”. Also: “Spooge”. And “Jizzum”. Titus says it’s the most valuable product his family produces, and Jupiter knows that Kalique came out of a bath of this stuff when she got de-aged, even though nothing of the sort was mentioned during that scene.
Titus finally reveals, “It comes from people!” Okay, why didn’t anyone listen to Charlton Heston? This whole movie could have been avoided.
What’s more, each cylinder is “refined from approximately a hundred human beings.” Titus says that Earth is a “farm”, like many other planets, used to supply an “ever-increasing demand for more time.” Jupiter freaks out that they killed a hundred people to make the cylinder she’s holding, and so she throws it back at him, and naturally, it crashes to the floor. Nice going, Jupiter. You just wasted a hundred people.
Titus assures her it’s okay, and her mother felt the same way about the whole industry. She actually tried to stop the ReGenX business, and for that, she was murdered. He fears that he’ll be murdered too, because he also wants to stop the business. And that’s why he had Caine find Jupiter, because he wants her to be his “heir” upon his death.
At last, we come to the question Titus has been dreaming of asking her. He pulls out a ginormous ring and says, “Jupiter Jones, will you marry me?” Again, she’s a genetic duplicate of his mother, people. And considering that his mother used ReGenX to keep herself eternally youthful, it’s safe to assume Jupiter probably looks like her identical twin. Jupiter just gasps at the big ring and looks a bit weirded out, maybe because he’s proposing in a room full of containers of people-juice. Or maybe because he wants to marry his mother’s clone.
Cut to Titus’s assistant Famulus on a video link with Stinger, who’s still playing the reluctant traitor. He says they didn’t have to take Caine, and they should have left him on Ouros. But Famulus informs him that unfortunately, Caine’s betrayal means he must be “fed to the Void”. Stinger looks crestfallen as Famulus ends the call.
Over on Stinger’s end, a hologram dissolves behind him, revealing he’s still aboard the Aegis Cruiser, and thanks to this call, they were able to trace the location of Titus’s ship. It’s a double-double-cross! But it appears to have been forced upon him, because the captain of the Cruiser just looks stoic as she orders Stinger taken “back to the brig”.
Meanwhile on Titus’s ship, Caine is released from his cell and taken to see Titus. Caine says there was no reason to lie to him about what Jupiter really is. Titus replies, “Sometimes lies are the only reason I get out of bed!” Well… it’s good to have a hobby? Though I suppose if I were indulging in a lot of zero-G orgies, I might not feel that motivated to get out of bed, either.
Titus then has his men force Caine into an airlock. Titus mocks Caine, saying he knows just what Caine is thinking right now: that he’s going to survive being “tossed into the Void” and find some way to return and rescue Jupiter. Titus then announces that he and Jupiter will be married, just as he opens the airlock and Caine goes flying out into space. But before he flies out, Caine kicks some sort of panel that sends small pod-like devices flying out with him.
Caine grunts and groans (yes, in airless space) as he uses his hover boots to melt his shackles. Then he grabs one of those pod things and activates it, and it explodes and transforms into an ornate gilded spacesuit that forms around him and allows him to breathe. Yeah. So they decided to throw him out of an airlock that just happened to have all these insta-spacesuits lying around. But then again, they also didn’t bother to take away his hover-boots when they locked him up, so I’m thinking Titus’s men don’t really give a shit about their jobs.
Alas, Caine can only watch as Titus’s ship enters another wormhole, and is quickly gone, leaving him stranded in the Void. Oh, and a voice in Caine’s spacesuit informs him he has 37 minutes of air left.
And with that, we cut back to Chicago, Earth. We find Jupiter’s entire family gathered together as they yell at Vladie for convincing Jupiter to sell her eggs. Vassily, the patriarch of the family (as well as Vladie’s father, it would seem) smacks him around as he yells, “What do you think she is? A goddamn chicken?”
Jupiter’s Mom also yells at him, but Vladie says Jupiter wanted to do it, because she wanted to buy “some stupid telescope!” Aunt Nino hears about the telescope, and recalling that Jupiter’s dad also owned a telescope, she cries out, “Our family is cursed!” Because anyone who buys a telescope immediately dies, I guess? What exactly do they think happened to Jupiter, anyway? Vassily keeps pounding on Vladie with a sofa pillow and saying things like, “You don’t treat your cousin like chicken!” Keep up the lazy ethnic stereotypes, movie, because it just gets funnier.
But then they hear a rumble, and the whole house starts shaking, and then a hole is blasted through the ceiling, and there’s suddenly a zero-G beam hitting the family dinner table. Several winged lizard people come crashing down, and the whole family starts screaming, except for Vladie’s son, who’s on the staircase looking strangely entertained by this. I guess a visit from giant lizard people is no big thing for thim?
One of the winged lizard guys (who turns out to be Greeghan, according to the captions) recognizes Jupiter’s mom. He walks up to her, breathing his apparently horrible breath in her face, and tells his men to “be gentle with this one.”
Caine is still floating in space, and now his air supply has run out. And as he begins to experience asphyxia and carbon dioxide poisoning, he flashes back to meeting Jupiter, and Jupiter with her bees. Yep, Jupiter’s face is the last thing he’s seeing before he dies; that’s how much this person he met two or three days ago means to him. But then a wormhole opens up behind him, and we cut to Caine being wheeled through the Aegis Cruiser on a stretcher, and he’s even being given an IV drip of Premium Spooge. He comes around and rips off his oxygen mask to yell, “He’s gonna kill her!”
Back on Titus’s ship, Jupiter has gotten a gander at her wedding gown, and is telling Titus she doesn’t think she can go through with this. But Titus assures her it’s not a wedding like on her world, but rather “just a contract, in order to protect people”. She demands to speak to Caine. So Titus pretends that Caine got violent and Titus had to “return him to the authorities”.
He alludes to the throat-ripping incident, and marvels at how Jupiter knows about that and yet still trusts him. “Beauty and her beast!” So I guess the Abrasaxes are well-versed in Earth fairy tales for some reason? Titus then shows her that he has a “Rite of Pardon and Reinstatement” sheave for Caine and “Mr. Apini”, which must be Stinger. He hands it over to her, saying something impenetrable about there being a time when he would have “used this against” her.
He then starts to leave, but Jupiter stops him to say, “I’ll do it.” He walks out and she looks at the dress, and I think I’m fully confused by the political machinations of this script. Why would the pardon for Caine make her want to go through with the wedding? Couldn’t Jupiter presumably issue her own pardon as the Divine Recurrence (or whatever) of the Abrasax Sovereign? And who are the people supposedly being “protected” by the two of them getting married?
Next up: It’s the wedding of the… millennium? epoch? eon? … as Titus marries Jupiter. But will Caine make it there in time to stop it?