Story

The main character in Jupiter Ascending is Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), who lives in Chicago with her mother and extended Russian immigrant family. She cleans the houses of rich people and dreams of buying a telescope to view the stars. Jupiter’s life is suddenly disrupted when three intergalactic bounty hunters appear on the scene, with several alien creatures called keepers (who are able to disguise themselves as humans). These aliens all want to kill Jupiter. Luckily for her, a genetically engineered alien warrior (part human, part wolf) named Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) has been sent to protect her. He rescues Jupiter from the evil aliens just in time. 

As the story unfolds we learn that Jupiter is the genetic reincarnation of a dead alien queen who, before her death, owned the planet Earth. Unfortunately the dead alien queen left behind three tyrannical evil heirs, all of whom want to kill Jupiter so that they can own Earth. The three heirs are Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne), Titus Abrasax (Douglas Booth) and Kalique Abrasax (Tuppence Middleton). For thousands of years, they have lived by harvesting the inhabitants of alien planets and turning them into an elixir to rejuvenate their ancient bodies. They intend to do this with Earth’s inhabitants too. 

Jupiter is kidnapped by each of the three Abrasax siblings in turn, and each tries either to kill Jupiter or bend her to their will. Fortunately Caine rescues Jupiter each time, but in the end Jupiter must come to terms with her destiny.

Themes

Space travel and aliens; genetic experimentation; reincarnation; immortality; immigrant families

Violence

Jupiter Ascending contains science fiction action violence, with some long scenes that show many people dying and that also have a lot of blood and gore. For example:

  • Two men burst into an apartment. One brutally pistol-whips a man then shoots him in the stomach while his pregnant wife looks on. The pregnant woman sits on the floor crying while cradling her dying husband in her arms. There is blood on the dying man’s chest and stomach and the woman’s hands.
  • A woman lies on a hospital examination table, with her wrists and ankles restrained by manacles. The woman is anaesthetised. A nurse uses an instrument to extract DNA from the woman’s neck and then a doctor says, ‘Kill her’. An alien warrior bursts through the wall firing a laser weapon at the doctors, who immediately transform into alien creatures. The warrior kills all of the alien creatures before rescuing the woman. There is black blood splattered over walls and the dead aliens.
  • A male humanoid kills another humanoid by throwing a hunting knife at the man’s face, the knife embedding in his face.
  • Following a fist fight, a man kills another man by twisting and snapping his neck.
  • A humanoid alien fights several dragon-like creatures. He shoots several of them and then fights with the remaining creature. It wraps its tail around the man’s throat and flies up into the air dragging him behind. To escape, the man drives a metal spike through the creature’s tail, causing it to scream out and drop him. It bites him on the neck, and he punches it in the head. The fight ends when the creature is slammed through a glass floor and left hanging by the neck.
  • A male humanoid slaps a woman hard across the face several times, then drags her across the ground by her hair and grabs her by the throat. The woman knees him in the groin. In a later scene she shoots the same man in the foot. They viciously kick and punch other. The man attacks the woman with a metal bar, stabbing her throat and striking her several times across the body. He tells her that he murdered his mother in the same way. The woman kicks him and bashes him over the head several times with a metal bar then sinks her fingers into a bloody wound on his leg. The man screams out in pain and falls from a ledge.
  • In one scene several unconscious human bodies float in a room aboard an alien spacecraft. Mechanical arms with probes and circular saws approach the floating bodies and puncture one of the bodies in the head. While watching the probes attack the floating bodies, an alien talks about harvesting humans and the quality of human skins. In a later scene a dragon-like creature is tortured by the same probes.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Jupiter Ascending has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:

  • One scene shows a woman wearing a long skirt giving birth. The woman sweats and screams while being helped by several other women. One woman reaches under the pregnant woman’s skirt and pulls out a newborn infant covered in blood and fluid.
  • A man takes off his shirt to reveal bloody wounds in his chest and cruel scars over his chest and back. In another scene the same man is shown with a large bloody wound to the side of his torso. A woman puts a sanitary napkin over the wound to stop it bleeding.
  • The movie features several scary humanoid characters with various augmentations. These include eye pieces, metal attachments to the sides of their heads, wings, and arms replaced with weapons. 
  • Some alien characters look like winged gargoyles or dragons. They have lizard-like heads and tails but speak with human voices. They look threatening and menacing. In one scene these characters break through the ceiling of an apartment and kidnap a terrified human family.
  • Several scenes show images of menacing alien soldiers wearing leather masks.

From 8-13
Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Younger children in this age group might be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

Jupiter Ascending contains some low-level sexual reference and innuendo. For example:

  • A woman flirts with an alien, telling him that she is notorious for falling for the wrong sort of man. He brushes her flirting aside, telling her that he has more in common with dogs. The woman says, ‘I love dogs’. In another scene the same woman says to the same man, ‘Is there any part of you that wants to bite me?’ The man replies, ‘No. Well maybe’. The woman replies, ‘Go ahead’.
  • A woman looks at a muscular man with a bare chest and says, ‘He’s well made’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Jupiter Ascending shows some use of substances. For example:

  • An alien woman is given a long glass cylinder of anti-aging serum.
  • A woman in a hospital is anaesthetised against her will.
  • Characters drink socially with meals.

Nudity and sexual activity

Jupiter Ascending has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • A man rubs moisturiser on his pregnant wife’s exposed stomach, then kisses her on the stomach.
  • A humanoid floats in his room surrounded by several sexy women, who kiss his face and stroke his torso. 
  • Several scenes show women wearing sexy underwear and tight-fitting, revealing clothing.
  • In one scene an older woman walks nude into a pool of clear liquid and then emerges from the water transformed into a young woman. The scene shows her naked from behind.
  • In a couple of scenes a man and woman kiss.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Jupiter Ascending has some coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Jupiter Ascending is a science fiction action drama from the makers of The Matrix trilogy. The story is predictable, and the movie seems like a patchwork of numerous similar movies and books with familiar creatures and characters. Although the action scenes are fast paced and have a lot of stylised fighting, there is nothing new in this movie.

There are many scary characters, as well as violent and disturbing scenes, which justify the movie’s M rating. It’s too disturbing for young children and not recommended for children under 13 years. Some younger teenagers might need parental guidance.

The main message from this movie is that being part of a loving family is worth more than being a queen or owning a planet. 

This movie could give you the chance to talk with your children about how the film objectifies women, specifically as sexual playthings.