4 Reasons to Watch (Or Rewatch) ‘Jupiter Ascending’ Now That It’s On Netflix

While Netflix is chock full of original content these days, the way the streaming site became a big deal is by licensing the films and TV series of other studios. And for every show like Friends and The Office that they lose the rights to, there are plenty of other titles to take their place. As of this month, the space opera Jupiter Ascending is available to stream. If you’ve never seen it, now’s your chance. Here’s why you should check it out on Netflix.

The effects are incredible, full stop

This was a given. The film, from the minds behind The Matrix, was billed as a big, flashy, visual effects party. And it certainly delivered. Just moments in, we’re treated to the first glimpse of a world unlike any we’ve ever seen — think Disney’s Tomorrowland, but with some funky creatures.

The movie seamlessly moves back and forth between moments of intensity between characters that require very few effects and elaborate fight scenes involving more colors, lights, and action than most Marvel films at the time. So for fans of the superhero genre, this may not be the kind of story you’re used to (it’s certainly not what Warner Bros has been giving us recently), but it sure looks like them. 

The main characters have undeniable chemistry

Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum
Mila Kunis (L) and Channing Tatum attend the premiere of Jupiter Ascending at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 2, 2015, in Hollywood, California. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Mila Kunis’ Jupiter Jones is an unhappy young woman who cleans houses for a living. The death of her astronomer father before her birth made her curious about what’s beyond Earth. And fortunately, there’s someone around to show her.

The romance between Jupiter and Channing Tatum’s Caine Wise comes about with very little lead-in and, let’s face it, not exactly stellar writing. But the stars clearly did their best, and it shows. From the first time they lock eyes, Kunis and Tatum are believably into each other, and the audience has no trouble rooting for them. 

It’s honestly more feminist than it appears at first

Speaking of Jupiter and Caine’s story, though it begins with the typical man swoops in to save the woman trope (Kunis spends a good 10 minutes after they first meet in Tatum’s arms), it’s a bit more complicated than that. Yes, Caine does have to continually save Jupiter. But she’s the one who pursues him.

Despite trying to get a handle on everything that’s being thrown at her (you know, like being told she’s the reincarnation of an intergalactic royal being), Jupiter falls for Caine quickly — and unlike many women in her position that we’ve seen in film, she tells him right away. Caine shows restraint amidst everything that’s going on, but Jupiter continues to speak her truth. She’s into him, and she doesn’t care who knows it. 

You may not have caught these underlying themes

Yes, generally speaking, Jupiter Ascending is really just a good time, according to most who actually like it. But there’s quite a bit more to it. The themes of consumerism, capitalism, class systems, etc. are well touched-upon… and there are even hints of commentary on overpopulation and environmentalism.

When interviewed by Nylon back in 2014, prior to the film’s release, Kunis spoke on this. She called Jupiter Ascending “a sci-fi movie rooted in some sort of honesty,” adding, “It has do with how as a society, we’re based with a desire to consume. That’s kind of the underlying tone of the movie.”

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