Hollywood needs – but probably couldn’t afford – more filmmakers like Lana and Andy Wachowski.
In 1999, the Chicago-born siblings pioneered the slow-motion “bullet time” effect in The Matrix and its impenetrable sequels, and three years ago, they delivered an admirable yet flawed rendering of David Mitchell’s supposedly unfilmable novel, Cloud Atlas.
The Wachowskis are daredevils, willing to go out on a limb to realise their epic visions, even if the limb snaps under the weight of their bold ambition. The bough certainly breaks during Jupiter Ascending, a bombastic space opera with a muddled narrative glued together by jaw-dropping digital trickery.
In 3D and IMAX, the writer-directors serve up a feast for the senses, choreographing aerial battles at dizzying speed to the propulsive clatter of Michael Giacchino’s score that take heavy choral nods from the most recent Star Wars trilogy.
Once the computer-generated dust settles and the good-looking cast attempts to distil the plot, you sense any logic was jettisoned out of an airlock in order to accommodate the state-of-the-art thrills.