Ever since the first trailer for the Wachowskis’ upcoming (as in February of next year) movie Jupiter Ascending was released, there’s been no doubt that the movie would look good. Actually, considering they built their reputation on the Matrix trilogy, there likely was no doubt even before that, because no matter how one might feel about the quality of those films (especially the latter ones) it’s hard to dispute that they know how to put together a good-looking movie. Instead the real question was about the plot and how it would play out.
So now we have a brand new trailer, (the third actually), and it finally seems to answer some of those plot questions as it actually spends some time showing us the characters and delving into the story.
The result? Well, at least we know it’s going to look good.
Maybe I’m missing something here. I certainly hope so. Because if you’re going to take one of the absolute oldest storytelling tropes, that of the hidden princess who doesn’t know that’s who she is but has to be told and then reclaim her throne in order to stop the bad guy from claiming it and doing something nefarious, you’d better be ready to do something new and different with it, and I’m sorry, but simply setting it in space and putting the Earth at risk really doesn’t qualify as all that new.
Of course, considering the nature and purpose of trailers in general – at least the way they are put together by studios today – which is to grab the mass audience and put the maximum number of butts in seats, and the easiest way to do that is to appeal to the lowest common denominator viewer and give them a sense of the familiar rather than point out the things that set this particular movie apart from its predecessors it’s altogether possible that there’s much more to this movie than it so far appears and that this is yet another case of what has become known as the “trailer swerve”.
At this point I’m really hoping that’s the case, but then considering that really, once one looked beyond the admittedly innovative effects of The Matrix it also really was a very simplistic variation of the “the reality you see is not the true one” trope familiar to anyone with anything more than a passing acquaintance with the sci-fi genre and mostly brought nothing new to it either, my expectation that that will be the case is not very high.
For that matter, considering the fact that we’ve seen so many movies with similar looking space battles, ships crashing into buildings, and all the rest, there’s not even much here that looks like the effects are even going to push the boundaries beyond the already-familiar this time around.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that Jupiter Ascending will do, as they say, “boffo box office” on it’s opening weekend, and since that’s really all that the studio is looking for, it will have served its purpose. And yes, I’ll probably be a part of that opening weekend crowd just to see if maybe there is something more to the movie than what I’m expecting right now. And I feel sure that I’ll enjoy the experience on a “sit back, eat your popcorn, and just let it happen” level, which is fine.
I just wish I were looking forward to it more.
Here’s the new trailer:
- Jupiter Ascending Official TRAILER #3 [Best Trailer Yet!] (geeksaresexy.net)
- New “Jupiter Ascending” Trailer Details Intergalactic Society (spinoff.comicbookresources.com)
- A new Jupiter Ascending trailer looks bonkers, even for the Wachowskis (thedissolve.com)