4 Signs 'The Matrix' Directors' Next Film Won't Be 100% Crap
Apart from promising a solid two minutes of flashing neon laser ship battles and Channing Tatum flipping around like a meth angel trapeze cat, the trailer for the upcoming Wachowski apology letter Jupiter Ascending doesn't make any effort to tell us what the movie is going to be about. Strobe lights and impossible acrobatics are a staple of every Wachowski film and could guarantee anything from a game-changing science fiction opera to bald Natalie Portman or Hugh Grant in tribal makeup. So the question on everyone's mind is: WILL IT BE TERRIBLE?
The Action: The Matrix, but Not The Matrix Revolutions
One of the most egregious betrayals of The Matrix Revolutions was pushing aside the wire stunts and Bullet Time camera rigs of the original film in favor of digital doubles pinwheeling through the air like George Lucas' traveling circus.
While there's no absolute guarantee that Jupiter Ascending won't ride the same CGI Hindenburg into oblivion, both Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum have mentioned the production's extensive use of wire stunts -- meaning that while we're still going to get emotionless sex puppets doing air ballet in slow motion, we can at least be assured that they will be human emotionless sex puppets and not CGI constructs.
They're even letting Channing use his real ears in this.
In fact, we're fairly certain that they went along the Matrix route and straight up taught their actors to be kung fu masters, as the only reported set fiasco involved Tatum karate-kicking a wayward camera rig to save Mila Kunis' life like some kind of method-acting savant.
The Story: A Sci-Fi Snow White Genre Extravaganza
Jupiter Ascending is apparently what you would get if The Matrix suplexed Snow White into a hyperbaric chamber and fired it into space.
The plot follows Mila Kunis as the improbably named Jupiter Jones, a lowly earthling who suddenly becomes the magical centerpiece of an ultra space war on account of her having a perfect genetic makeup. This understandably threatens the Queen of the Universe, who sends a bounty hunter to kill Jupiter, only the bounty hunter falls in love with her instead and swears to protect her.
"If you were ugly, I'd have drowned you in a toilet two hours ago."
It's just like Snow White and the Huntsman, if the Huntsman had been an albino wolf person from the stellarverse. It's basically the movie that everyone wrote in their heads when they were in third grade, which in fairness could totally be said about any of the Star Wars films.
The Cast: Two Impossible Physical Specimens and Sean Bean
In addition to the golems of physical perfection that are Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, who were presumably cast to shame the rest of us into tearfully throwing our Cookie Dough Bites on the floor in bitter disgust, the film also stars Sean Bean as an older "Han Solo-type" character that mentors the two heroes. This sounds like Sean Bean's character is more like Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is another way of saying that we are going to be treated to yet another Sean Bean death scene.
Rounding out the cast is ex-Monty Python member Terry Gilliam, who makes a cameo during a scene he describes as an "homage to Brazil," one of his most famous films. This information creates a particularly baffling riddle for anyone who has actually seen Brazil.
Pictured: a scene from Brazil.
So, between Channing Tatum the Space Werewolf, his bounty-hunting mentor Sean Bean, and an impossible-to-predict homage to Brazil, we officially have no idea what the fuck this film is going to be.
The Wachowski Siblings: Will They Be Terrible?
Die-hard fans notwithstanding, most people would agree that the Wachowski siblings haven't directed a film above "wallet-punishingly bad" in almost two decades. Their two best-received movies to date were both made back in the '90s -- The Matrix in 1999, and the independent critical hit Bound in 1996. So what gives? Did they only have two bullets in the chamber, or are they simply going through a rough patch like Ridley Scott did in the '90s?
Well, besides both being early films, Bound and The Matrix were also the Wachowskis' only original screenplays that weren't adaptations or sequels. In fact, their movies tend to perform according to how far removed from original content they are -- the Matrix sequels weren't well-liked, but still made a decent amount of money, whereas Cloud Atlas and Speed Racer were box office wastelands that critics burned like old blankets covered in scarlet fever.
So, is Jupiter Ascending an original script? Yes. Is it about a sinister computer overlord or a pair of lesbian bandits? Probably not.
Although the trailer never specifically states that Tatum doesn't have an albino/alien/wolf vagina.
Will It Be Terrible?
Considering that it's the first completely original Wachowski film since the one that made us care about them in the first place, there's reason to hope for Jupiter Ascending. Statistically speaking, however, it's probably going to be the cinematic equivalent of a turd in a swimming pool.