Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts On: Jupiter Ascending

This movie has a following…REALLY?

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Here’s why the people I know defend it: the VFX… because I come from a group that studied 3D animation and design…

    • Funny. I just tried to watch this movie yesterday, but after being sickened severly by the characters i had to stop after half an hour. I could no longer bare it. This movie is Science-Fantasy action-porn. It is stupid and an insult to screen writing. The weirdest thing about it is that Meg is the least terrible thing about this movie! Her performance was actually tollerable compared to the others! Insane…

    • For me, it was the world.
      It has a really cool setting…. but the movie is just horrible.
      It’s much like FFXIII, which I hate too, the WORLD that was made for the set-up… what a game/movie that would have been made from that!
      Both of these works are absolute shit.
      So much a wasted potential.
      Though by no means do I like Jupiter Ascending, but it’s setting would have been really cool… but… if only a different movie.

      • Agreed. This whole “genetic religion”-angle is just genius, a shame that they don’t do much with it.

        For me there are also some similarities to Fury Road, in that Jupiter – like Max – is a character who doesn’t do shit, just reacts to things happening around her/him. But then again, Charlize Therons character has a stronger motivation than Channing Tatums (not to mention Charlize has more acting chops), which is why Furiosa is more relatable than Caine (even though the worldbuilding in Fury Road kinda sucks).

      • Heart-Lightning

        You do realize Jupiter Ascending was a bomb all around while FF13 was a success at a critical, community and financial standpoint, right?

        You can’t make that comparison when one is a big budget movie that all around failed while a big budget video game was successful in all three categories (critically, community and financially) was so successful that it spawned off an entire subseries aka 13-2 and LR.

        • Financially…yes.
          Community…maybe in a small group (while the rest of gamerdom still scratched their heads, trying to figure that one out)
          Critically…well, game journalism used to hype everything Square put out and they *did* make some good games…

          …but I think there might be a reason, why the sales for 13-2 and LR fell way behind the initial XIII sales.

          • Heart-Lightning

            Dude, the game has an average of 8.2-8.1 by community averages. That’s clearly a vocal minority who hated the game. If you look at something like Destiny, you can see that the game is in the 6.8-6.9 range. Hell, RE6 is in the lower 6’s.

            Also, subseries like FF13-2 and LR didn’t sell anywhere near as much because that’s a general thing:

            X-2: 3.4 million
            FF10 HD: 1.6 million

            Crisis Core: 2.57 million
            Dirge of Cerberus: 1.2 million

            XIII-2: 3.1 million
            LR: 1.4 million

            Lower development costs, smaller teams, smaller marketing and recycled material don’t usually sell anywhere near as much as something like FF13, FF10, FF7 or the upcoming FF15.

    • There are many virtues to Jupiter Ascending beyond its gorgeous visual effects. It creates a fascinating world with an intricate mythology. It villains are quasi-immortals who bathe in people juice with relish and tour the universe in floating space palaces. Its lead is courageous and resilient and is never objectified or belittled, always being treated as a figure of admiration. It features one of the most entertainingly deranged performances (from Redmayne) ever committed to celluloid. It’s its own beast and is confident about what it is and what it wants to be – a sci-fi fairy-tale about a reincarnated space queen and her wolfman travelling companion. And it’s rather wonderful for that.

  2. The Mysterious M

    …How do you cast Sean Bean and not kill him? That’s like a cardinal sin of moviemaking!!!!

    “Thou shalt not allow Sean Bean to liveth to the end of a film!”

  3. I would rather see audacious movies like Jupiter Ascending rather than competent and middling movies like Jurassic World. The Wachowkis’ film had a lot mor technical problems, but was infinitely more interesting in my opinion.

    And Speed Racer is a genuinely great movie.

    • No,no,no, no- Sorry no.

    • I totally agree. We need more movies that shoot for the stars like JA did – Hollywood is so adverse to risk right now and JA is deeply atypical for its ambition and scope. It obviously didn’t succeed for the majority, but it succeeded for me and I find it rather wonderful.

  4. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    In the movie the only Character I cared about was Channing Tatum but the rest of em could die and I wouldnt give a single thing about them. But I agree that Eddie Redmayne was hilarious as the villian and I loved that he screamed no when he fell. I thought the design of the lizard wo served Eddie Redmaynes character was cool but the other alien things were weird(especially the space elephant which was weird). But I doubt this movies cult following will grow into something really huge and I didn’t get why Mila Kunis’s character went back to work as a plumber when she could be queen of the earth. But I liked that you caught the small little details. But as regards to the waiting in line scene, I just thought it was tedious and it really took too long. As for the Wachowskis as directors, they have this new Netflix show called sense8(no I’m not kidding that’s the real title of it) that I think you should check out. As for Shamalyan as a director, he’s having this small movie coming out in September of this year that I think you should keep an eye out for the plot interest me show I’ll go see it when it opens in theaters.

    • “I didn’t get why Mila Kunis’s character went back to work as a plumber when she could be queen of the earth”

      That isn’t really that hard: during her travels she found out that having all that power removed her genetic “children” from the concerns of everyday people (to the point where they gladly sacrifice whole worlds for their convinence) – there is even a line in the movie, where one of the evil siblings says how strange it is that the reincarnation of their mother was scrubbing toilets on Earth – “No one in my family has ever scrubbed any toilets” – to which Jupiter replies “Well, maybe thats’ the problem”.

      Another reason is that Jupiter, during the first part of the movie, wanted to leave her family for a better life. But she began to understand that she needs and depends on them emotionally (“There is no place like home”) – going back to her roots grounds her somewhat, after all that interstellar craziness.

      There might be a third reason, but this is purely speculation. She lucked out in the conflict with Abraxas, winning the Earth in the process and killing one of her evil children. But Abraxas (and two of her children) are still out there, killing other planets. Staying on Earth and (seemingly) not interfering in Abraxas business gives her a chance to brush up on the byzantine rules governing interstellar relations, as well as using advanced technology (as seen by her using the antigrav-boots in the final scene).

      • MidnightScreeningsman2014

        Those are some pretty good points.

      • It just occurred to me: what would have happened, if Luke Skywalker got back to the moisture farm, before the Imperials could have killed Owen and Beru? What if he had been able to save them?

        Would he still have gone off to join the Rebellion? Maybe, but it wouldn’t have been an easy choice (nearly losing them and all) – by killing them off, Lucas has eliminated that moment of difficult choice (speeding up Lukes journey to blowing up the Death Star), but at the cost of future character developement (Luke first had to develop some new bonds – and *then* decide if he would leave them or come to their aid in Empire).

  5. I still stand by my love of Speed Racer.

  6. Speed Racer is fun. In a way, so is this movie, but it also kinda sucks.

  7. Its the My little Pony factor.
    People love the characters so much that they start to create interest for the background characters and create fanfic about them, because they want to know more about the world.

    • People found Jupiter Ascending characters interesting?

      • I found Jupiter likeable and appealing and the villains fascinating. The villains of the film are a family of vampiric space capitalists with fabulous fashion sense, floating space palaces, worrying mother complexes and psychotic disregard for life. That we live in a world where such characters are deemed ‘dull’ is somewhat depressing.

        • Don’t mistake persona for personality.

          • I’m not stupid and as far as I’m concerned the characters all have personality. Jupiter is socially awkward, curious and inarticulate, struggling to get herself across and find her place in the world. Balem is dour, depressed and unstable, occasionally having fits of hysteria. Kalique is calm, refined and clever, excellent at playing any situation to her advantage. All of them have clear personalities and I find them fun and interesting to watch. It’s your loss if you don’t.

          • I had to look up two of those names to remember who was what, because the movie only told me: “Meet Schemey, Shouty and Blandy. Schemey is hoping to bang his mother’s reinclonation, Shouty is an emo whackjob who wants to be a real boy, and Blandy… is here to round out a trinity. She has no real purpose in this movie.”

      • MidnightScreeningsman2014

        @TheOnlyThing a lot of people didn’t really like the characters in the movie but the only character I liked was Channing tatums but that’s it. But the villian is also halirious.

    • I understand your comparison, but I disagree. My Little Pony is just an over-hyped fandom with a huge fanbase. Par for the course. What you’re describing isn’t even MLP exclusive… that’s just how fandom usually works. Any story that’s sequential in nature, such a tv show/cartoon show, increases the odds of that happening, since the writers are going to leave themselves plot hooks to follow for future episodes, and it’s better to have more hooks than they’ll ever use, rather than not enough. It’s kind of inevitable that will inspire fanfiction, fanart, and fan discussion, which may expand upon information that hasn’t been touched on yet.

      On the other hand, I think the fans of Jupiter Ascending may love the concept, but not necessarily the movie itself. If they create anything for it or talk about it, the difference is that they’re remaking it into the vision of what it should have been or what they thought they saw, as compared to what was actually there. Then again, that’s my best guess, based on limited research into other semi-hated fandoms. Feel free to correct me if you’re speaking from a personal standpoint and not a theoretical one. 🙂

      • I love JA as a film, not just as a concept/world. I think what some people – especially people on CA (not yourself – you’re being very reasonable and open to different takes) – fail to understand is that it’s possible to genuinely like and even love a film that’s flawed. So I can accept that JA is rushed, sometimes crudely edited and head-scratching in places, but at the same time I love the wild, episodic nature of the plot and enjoy the world, mythology and characters the film presents. JA is a highly undisciplined film but its sprawl and ambition are part of its charm for me. It’s a film that rewards repeat viewings and analysis, and its fans are brilliant – we’ve had epic discussions about everything from the reasons for genetically modifying bees to the economic realities of life as a Russian immigrant living in modern-day Chicago. It’s awesome.

      • I’m not a fan of the movie, and I thought the concept was ridiculous, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. In fact, I think I partly enjoyed it because of it’s ridiculousness. Ridiculousness is rare in films and books, but when done right (i.e. done so that the viewer/reader believes the premise), it’s wonderful.

        Never once when I watched the film did I say, “no, that could never happen [in the setup we’re given]!” That’s what I mean by ridiculousness working: when, if you explained it to someone, they’d say, “That’s ridiculous!” but when you’re actually watching it, it makes perfect sense.

        Jupiter Ascending made sense despite seeming ridiculousness. It was also exciting, fun, funny, and sometimes even canny. I wasn’t intellectually awed, but I was never bored.

        What I’m trying to say is simply this:

        Different people like different things for different reasons. And sometimes it’s hard to empathize with those reasons. Don’t say that fans like a movie for a certain reason; they all like it for their own reasons, and different reasons.

        Ultimately, the reason I liked it was this: I enjoyed it. I didn’t enjoy it for any one particular element; I enjoyed it as a whole. And though I wouldn’t purchase it, I would certainly watch it again.

  8. Heart-Lightning

    Jupiter Ascending has a 25% critic wise by Rotten Tomates, a 43% on a community average and was not a financial success.

    It’s kind of hilarious when internet comments go after such things like FF13, Dark Knight Rises, Bioshock Infinite, etc. Yet we completely forget about the failures that are the Wachowski bros. movies and how they keep failing on a critical, community and financial level.

    And they still keep getting work. Why must we focus on things that are successful on all three aspects, but try to drag them through the dirt for angering a vocal minority? And somehow be perfectly fine to allow JUPITER ASCENDING to have a cult following?

    • Your comment is bafflingly wrong-headed, since you’re basically saying that it’s ‘bad’ that a film like JA – which was generally disliked – has a following and fans who love and find value in it. You’re basically saying that it’s bad for people to enjoy that the majority did not enjoy, which is the kind of attitude you find in fascist dictatorships.

      Something is not automatically great because it does well at the box office or gets good reviews. By that metric, Paul Blart Mall Cop is a better movie than Jupiter Ascending because it was far more financially successful. I don’t give a damn about how financially or critically successful a movie is – all I care about is my experience of it. People place far too much stock on popularity and acclaim, and I find that rather sad.

      • Heart-Lightning

        Well to be fair, Paul Blart Mall Cop 1 got better fan reception, critic reception and financial reception than Jupiter Ascending.

        Rotton Tomatoes:
        Paul Blart 1
        Critic: 33%, User: 43% (got a sequel), financially successful

        Jupiter Ascending:
        Critic: 25%, User: 43% (didn’t get a sequel), Financially bombed

        So yeah, my stance still stands. Helps that at least Paul Blart is an actual comedy, while the minority of people in Jupiter Ascending consider it an unintentional comedy.

        • You are either consciously ignoring my point or failing to understand it. I will repeat: a film’s critical reception and box office performance do not reflect its quality, they reflect how well liked it is by film critics and how much money it made. I am of the opinion that all art, including films, is experienced subjectively; that means that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are largely subjective, and that the only opinion I really trust and care about is my own. I am, of course, interested in the opinions of others and engage with them, but my own experience of a film is paramount and I don’t let my perception of a film be affected by its critical reception or box office.

    • So what you’re saying is . . .

      It’s bad to like something that slightly over half of people dislike?

      Logic FAIL.

      • Heart-Lightning

        Not just over half. It’s in divisive territory. 43% like to 57% hate in in that divisive territory that basically is one of the worst two situations to be in.

        The difference between that and say something like FF13 or Dark Knight Rises is that both have a 75-80% like ratio to the 20-25% dislike ratio. Vocal minority with their hate groups The key words of that statement are “vocal” and “minority”.

  9. As one of those people that mostly liked the movie I have to say the only things I disliked were the humans harvested for their cells stuff and the voices used by the 3 siblings. Then again, I always liked the speech parts of the Matrix sequels more then the action. What can I say, I have bad taste, Equilibrium was a great movie levels of bad taste.

    PS. Anyone else think this would have made for a great Jodorowsky comic?

  10. PeterOfThePanpipes

    For all it is- Speed Racer is the cartoon come to life, and that alone is reason for it existing.

  11. I love the Wachowskis, warts and all, but even I feel Jupiter Ascending was a complete misfire on their part – a fascinating misfire, mind you, but a misfire none-the-less.

    If you two ever do get around to watching Cloud Atlas and their new Netflix series “Sense8” I’d love to hear what you two think. Personally I love them, but both are kind of love it or hate it affairs.

  12. To me, everything that makes “Jupiter Ascending” bad/so-bad-it’s-good it shares with a certain movie called “The Black Hole.” That movie would make some excellent review material, wink wink nod nod.

  13. I love Jupiter Ascending because it’s so hilarious because it’s such a bad movie.

    And part of why I still enjoy it despite it’s badness is because there are aspects I do like and the bad parts are mostly hilarious to me… Again this is a movie where Sean Bean is part bee and has BEE POWERS (Seriously mad you didn’t bring up that part in the review because it’s hilarious).

    I love the music for one and the visuals weren’t bad. You talked about not being interested in the characters, and I admit that was a bit of the case for me too, except that I was actually really interested in the background characters.

    I actually want to learn more about this universe they created, especially about the space police. In fact I really liked the space police captain even though her part was extremely small and I really want to know more about her crew especially because her pilot is an Elephant man called Ganesh (which makes the mythology expert in me happy).

    • I agree, this is probably my favorite bad movie in a while. And don’t get me wrong, it’s REAAAALY terrible, but I’d almost like to see some kind of spin-off movie with Sean BEE-an and Were-wolf-angel-space-marine-clone man just to see how crazy it would turn out.

  14. Is it on the Internet that they’re defending this movie? If it is then Walker brothers, you of All people should know that it doesn’t take Balls to post a comment on the internet.

    Now get those people in public and ask them, and If their comments are still as strong as well as their conviction. Then give them credit for the Shear Size of their gonads.

    Just had to get this out of the way because it could cause a negative reaction in Trollers who think all they have to do is just type stuff to get respect.

    • Shear Size… dude look what you are typing. I don’t think you wanna bring shears near your gonads. And I lecture you in grammar, who’s not even a born english speaker.

      And yes, fly here to Hungary, I will defend this movie. I know quite a few other people who do like it, too.

  15. Review Gnomeo and Juliet.

  16. This movie was definitely terrible! Not getting back the $10 I wasted to see this.

  17. Damn, hope that they will make Cloud Atlas NC episode.

  18. Like I said on the Nostalgia Critic review itself, I actually like this movie. I don’t love it but it’s gorgeous. I don’t like Jupiter. My favorite character was actually the evil sister for some reason. I have only seen about 45% of sci-fi movies so some of the ripoff scenes went over my head. It’s like I was seeing those ripoff scenes for the first time. The outfits are to die for. It has some good action scenes. Eddie Raymayne’s overacting is GLORIOUS. I was laughing so hard in the theater with the friend I saw it with. We had a GREAT time. After one of Eddie’s scenes, I was laughing for two minutes straight. I COULDN’T STOP. That’s enough for me to like it. 😀 This movie is a lot of things but it’s not boring. At least to me. I also liked Speed Racer. I LOVE visuals.

    • I don’t think the sister was even evil, at all. She was the only one who had no ulterior motives -she indeed thought Jupiter was a reincarnation of her mother and just wanted to help her, in her own way.

  19. Snorgatch Pandalume

    Hah! I wonder if the Brothers Walker would be as tolerant and respectful towards people who said they liked the Star Wars prequels, or at least didn’t pathologically despise them and bash them at every opportunity for not being what they wanted them to be. I’m thinking probably not.

    • Oh yeah, I’m sure of that, it must be why they made an ENTIRE “Top 11 good things in the star wars prequels” episode!
      Clearly, they must have some sort of pathological hatred for these films

  20. I say Stupid Americans who cult follow Jupiter Ascending.

    • I’m not american, and I liked this movie. I liked John Carter too. They are PROPER sci-fi, not this washed-out action-adventure like what Hollywood usualyl does these day.

  21. Yeah like I said “Stupid Americans” in a certain movie-going way.

  22. Poor Walker brothers I feel your frustrated pain with American movie-going cult followers.

  23. I am sorry Walker Brothers that you have to act like Sigmund Freud, trying so hard to study psychologically the American movie-going and movie-making public mind, I truly feel for you guys you’re trying a little too hard to act like pyscho-analists of certainweird or queer American movie watchers and bad filmmakers.

  24. Psychol-analists I meant sorry slightly misspelled.

  25. Also I only love good movies for the most part with some guilty pleasures or bad elements in good mainstream big budget Blockbuster movies like Star Wars prequels and The Hobbit three-parter.

  26. This is a rather awesome movie, really. It’s like Dune meets Brazil meets Star Wars. The protagonist is a low-born everywoman whom people can relate to, the universe shown is interesting and the worlds and races very well done (it’s all explained even briefly, unlike the lots of unexplained things in Guardians of the Galaxy, like what’s Knowwhere or why no-one came to collect the Stone from the totally untrapped place Starlord found it?)

    I think you are just letting your hatred of the Wachowskis – and I agree, they did some terrible movies in the past, Matrix 2-3 included – blind you to the strenghts of the movie. Your review totally ignored some rather important things about the movie, like how humans, are whole civilization – is meaningless, we are cattle bred for an elite few to achieve immortality. That’s a rather big WHOA, almost the same as in the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when earth is demolished for a galactic bypass, except here it’s not played for laughs.

  27. gilliam yes 8^)

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