It baffles me how modern film nerds can get crazy excited for the nineteenth new version of something they've seen before, but when we're just a few months out from a new original science-fiction action film from the filmmakers behind “The Matrix,” there's a general attitude of “eh”.
Maybe the Wachowskis are simply working on a different calendar than anyone else. I have no doubt that “Speed Racer” will, in the long run, eventually be acknowledged as a bona-fide family classic, and when more filmmakers start doing work that is influenced by the tremendous, confident visual language of that film, it will get its full due as a genuinely adventurous piece of mainstream cinema. Same is true of “Cloud Atlas.” Time will be very kind to that film and its ambitions, and I think there are audiences who would have been profoundly impacted by it that still haven't seen it, that may not even know it exists.
If there's one thing that Warner Bros is going to do for “Jupiter Ascending,” they will make sure that you know it exists. This is a big film for them, and this new trailer seems to be a much better glimpse at the scale of the movie and the truly crazy new world that the Wachowskis have created.
This is a world in which the Queen of the universe has no idea who she is and works cleaning toilets on Earth. This is a world in which animal DNA is routinely spliced with that of aliens who become more than human as a result. This is a world in which the Earth is simply one piece of real estate to be fought over in a much larger dispute. And this is a world in which gravity boots offer opportunities for action scenes that we've never seen before, and chase scenes that take place across landscapes that would be otherwise impossible.
I love that this movie looks like it walks a fine line between awesome and ridiculous. I think that's the sweet spot for the Wachowskis, and they seem to love to push things to a really giddy place. I would rather see them swing big like this and miss than see someone play it safe and offer me the same old thing. Channing Tatum's been on a roll for the last few years, with seemingly charmed commercial instincts, and I think he and Mila Kunis both bring interesting new blood to the giant blockbuster action game. Will they pull it off?
Based on that trailer, man, I hope so.
“Jupiter Ascending” arrives in theaters July 18, 2014.