This seems to be based on a book or books that tweens might enjoy! But I am having a hell of a time trying to enjoy it. None of it makes any sense and it is ugly and noisy and very dull.
Mila Kunis is playing an Earth Teen (at 36?) who gets swept up into a nonsense parade of interplanetary aristocrats, cyber-mercs, and little teams of generic grays. Attempting to rescue her from this narrative hodge-podge is Channing Tatum as a sexily bare-shouldered part-human/part-dog.
Yes, dog. No matter how much exposition he mouths his way through, Mr. Channing manages only to podge this hodge even more thoroughly. There are spaceship chases in Chicago. There are upper-crusty dragon guys with deep voices. Ned Stark plays a retired space cop.
This movie is a lot like what would happen if Dune and Twilight were swallowed whole by Men In Black, emerging entwined and indistinguishable in the form of a bowel movement.
So, for no comprehensible reason, Mila turns out to be a lost space princess. Why’s she been cleaning toilets all these years? Boy does she feel dumb. But not as dumb as everyone’s going to feel when these technogoth bounty hunters initiate another action sequence! Shoot ‘em, Channing! They’re all late to a rave and it’s making them super pissed off!
The humans of Earth are about to get ‘harvested’ by the skankiest of the several space aristocrats. But some of the other space aristocrats rescue Mila and give her a space gown. Will Channing pop over on his invisible cyberskateboard and rescue her from these rescuers? Seems like the kind of thing that would happen next. But it is very hard to care.
I’m taking a little fast-forward break to swill free tequila because the movie starts over every time the captain makes an announcement. As this occurs later and later in the film, my interest in watching back to where I was at paltry 3x speed grows progressively thinner.
A three-year-old is watching Frozen in the next seat and my attention keeps drifting over there. It is more pleasing to watch a movie that treats little kids’ intellects with respect than one that treats 13-year-olds like complete fucking dimwits. But anyway.
Ah, finally! One of these exposition scenes reveals the movie’s premise: Earth humans exist only to be mulched into anti-aging beauty cream for the space aristocrats. Mila (who is now a space aristocrat) will probably find a way to take down the whole freakin’ system. But not without overcoming a few obstacles.
Such as space bureaucrats? Actually, this little Hitchhiker’s Guide/Brazil rip-off sequence is more amusing than the rest of the movie put together. It is over much too soon, and then Mila’s back to having a hard time convincing her subservient dog-man friend to make out with her.
The galaxy’s least convincing love triangle emerges: one of the aristo-teens is seducing Mila with false promises and big space diamonds. Dog lad is jettisoned into the void, to avoid complication. Luckily, they forgot to confiscate his skateboard and inflatable space helmet, so pretty soon he’s racing back to disrupt the wedding in a hail of phaser fire.
“I don’t care. The more you care, the more the world finds ways to hurt you for it.” Thanks, angsty teen Mila. I get why you’re sad. Your earth life was made out of lies, and now your super fancy space life is made out of lies, too. If only I could forgive you for signaling through your nadir that this script has a whole act left.
The skankiest aristocrat has stolen all of Mila’s colorful Russian family members from earth. Oh no! Time for more discussions, negotiations, and ugh I wish I could take a nap. Is it time for a nap? Channing probably has one rescue left in him. Can he arrive in time, before yet another plot point revolves around Mila completing a piece of space paperwork?
Sort of! It’s all gunplay, explodey bits, and kisses from here on out. Whatever planet they’re on seems pretty disposable. And flammable. The bad guy takes it on the chin and everyone makes their way back home. Dog lad gets new eyeliner and some angel wings. Mila gets her own invisible skateboard.
Nobody could possibly have enjoyed this movie in the theaters, and nobody is enjoying it now that it’s playing on the back of airplane seats. It is unenjoyable. I’m going to have to go ahead and suggest that you not watch.
A Postscript: I am no longer on an aeroplane, and I have connected to the internet. Having so connected, I learn that Mila Kunis is 31 and not 36. I am not going to look up how old her character is supposed to be, but from her behavior in the script let’s say 12. Also: this is not based on a popular series of bad YA novels, but is instead an original composition. This blows my mind. How could anyone craft anything this facile and incoherent without the dictates of a much longer and even dumber epic forcing their pen? Oh, you Wachowskis. Still full of surprises after all these years.
Aside from the first half of The Matrix, I don’t think I’ve liked anything the Wachowskis have made. Of course I haven’t seen Speed Racer yet…
Speed Racer is not your avenue to enjoyment, probably. Though it is an okay thing to project on the wall at a party with no audio, similar to an abstract light show or a vintage soft porn.
I do love one Wachowskis movie, which is Bound. Very solid, trashy fun.
Yes. Bound. Good stuff.