Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Jupiter Ascending Adoption Movie Review

Jupiter Jones is a janitor who hates her life. When she visits an egg donation clinic, aliens attempt to abduct her. There is far more to her story than even she knows. *SPOILERS AHEAD*
Earth is a farm, and it is owned by Balem Abrasax, the descendent of the matriarch of the House of Abrasax. The House of Abrasax is an interplanetary financial giant; they manufacture a serum which promotes exceptionally long life. Their raw ingredients are humans. Jupiter Jones is the genetic duplicate of the matriarch, and so she is entitled to the family fortune – including ownership of the earth. However, her children seek to kill her in order to secure her fortune for themselves. Ultimately, Jupiter is forced to choose between saving her family, who has been taken hostage, or saving the world.

How Does This Connect to Adoption

Genetics are very important in this story. Jupiter’s genetics are the reason that she is involved in the drama. One character explains, “In our world, genes have an almost spiritual significance. They are our seeds of immortality.”

Jupiter also wonders if her parents’ painful lives have caused her pessimistic view of people.
Jupiter has no awareness of an important part of her life story.

Jupiter’s male cousin has convinced her to donate her eggs. He will get $10,000 and she will get $5,000; when she asks why the financial split is so unfair, given that it’s her egg, her cousin explains, “That’s capitalism.” She tearfully expresses that she is unable to go through with the donation; this scene seems potentially troubling to parents who have relinquished or lost children to adoption.

One character meets her mother “long after she’s passed away.” She shares that initially, her mother was murdered, and implies that she may have had something to do with the murder.

Strong Points

Jupiter struggles to embrace her identity; a character tells her, “It’s not what you do, it’s who you are.”


Jupiter’s father is murdered while he is defending his pregnant wife. The scene drew gasps from many in the theater with me.  

Jupiter falls in love with a man that she believes to be bad news. She explains that her compass is broken, and she relentlessly pursues (and ultimately gets) him. The movie seems likely to appeal most to teenagers, who might not need extra encouragement to pursue apparently unhealthy relationships. Jupiter eventually pledges marriage to an even less wise person.

There are some dark views expressed. A villain expresses, “Lies are the source of belief and hope.” Another character says, “The more you care, the more the world finds ways to hurt you for it.” Another character explains that human life “is like a pyramid. Some lives mean more than others.”

Weak Points

In many ways, this is a story about children plotting to kill their mother for financial gain. One character also (sort of) marries his mother’s reincarnation. Although Jupiter eventually exclaims that she is not their mother, the plot line could be troubling to some.

There is some male-on-female violence.


Jupiter Ascending feels like a mix between Star Wars, Transformers, The Matrix, and a theme park ride (there are lots of long, loud action sequences.) It’s best target audience is probably older teens, so long as the individual viewer won’t be bothered by the challenges and weak points mentioned above.

Questions for Discussion

In the film, some characters viewed “Time” as the most important commodity. Is anything more important to you than long life?

How important are genetics?

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