Australian Council on Children and the Media

Jupiter Ascending

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Not recommended under 13; PG to 15 (Violence; Scary and disturbing scenes and characters)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Jupiter Ascending
  • a review of Jupiter Ascending completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 February 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to violence, and scary and disturbing scenes and characters.
Children 13 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to disturbing scenes
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Jupiter Ascending
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Violence and science fiction themes
Length 127 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) 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. Out of the blue Jupiter’s life is turned upside down when three intergalactic bounty hunters along with several alien creatures called “Keepers” (who are able to disguise themselves as humans) appear on the scene, intent on killing her.  Luckily for Jupiter, a genetically engineered alien warrior (part human part wolf) named Caine Wise (Canning Tatum) has been sent to protect her and he manages to snatch Jupiter from the clutches of the evil aliens just in the nick of 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 for Jupiter 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 Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne), Titus Abrasax (Douglas Booth and Kalique Abrasax (Tuppence Middleton) have lived for thousands of years by harvesting the inhabitants of alien planets and turning them into an elixir to rejuvenate their ancient bodies. This is what they intend to do with Earth’s inhabitants.

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

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

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

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains science fiction action violence with some prolonged sequences and multiple deaths including the depiction of some blood and gore. Examples include:

  •  Two men burst into an apartment. One of the criminals 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, her wrists and ankles restrained by manacles. The woman is anesthetised, a nurse uses an instrument to extract DNA from the woman’s neck and we hear a doctor say “kill her”. An alien warrior bursts through the wall firing a laser beam weapon at the doctors, who immediately transform into alien creatures. The warrior kills all of the alien creatures before rescuing the woman and we see black blood splattered over walls and the dead aliens.
  • A male humanoid kills another by throwing a hunting style knife at the man’s face, the knife embedding in his face.
  • Following a fist fight, a man kills another man by twisting his head a snapping his neck.
  • A humanoid alien fights several dragon-like creatures.  He shoots several of them and then engages in a fight 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. In return the woman knees him in the groin. In a later scene we see her shoot the same man in the foot. The pair then engage in a vicious brawl involving punches and kicks. He attacks the woman with a metal bar, stabbing at her throat, and then strikes her several times across the body, telling her that he murdered his mother in the same way. In retaliation 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 the his leg, causing him to scream out in pain and fall from a ledge.
  • In one scene we see several unconscious human bodies floating 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, we hear an alien making reference to how they harvest humans and the quality of human skins. In a later scene we see a restrained dragon-like creature being tortured by the same probes. 
     

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight, including the following:

  • One scene depicts a woman wearing a long skirt giving birth. We see the woman sweating and screaming and being helped by several other women. One woman reaches under the pregnant woman’s skirt and we see a new born infant covered in blood and fluid.
  • A man removes his shirt to reveal bloody wounds in his chest and cruel looking scarring over his chest and back. In another scene the same man is depicted with a large bloody wound to the side of his torso and a woman places a sanitary napkin over to wound to stop it bleeding 
  • Throughout the film we see a number of scary humanoid characters with a variety of augmented implants including eye pieces, metal attachments to the sides of their heads, wings and arms replaced with weapons.
  • Some alien characters resemble winged gargoyles/dragons with lizard-like heads and tails they speak with human voices and have a threatening menacing demeanour. In one scene a group of gargoyle/dragons break through the ceiling of an apartment and kidnap a terrified human family.
  • Several scenes contain images of menacing alien soldiers who wear leather masks.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group will also be disturbed by the scenes described above

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

The film contains some low-level sexual reference and innuendo. Examples include:

  • 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 to which the woman responds “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” to which the man responds “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”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • 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 of 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; we see her nude back view.   
  • In a couple of scenes a man and woman kiss.

Use of substances

There is some substance use in this movie, including:

  • An alien woman is given a long glass cylinder of anti-aging serum.
  • A woman in a hospital is anesthetised against her will.
  • Social drinking with meals.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Stalin’s balls; total bullshit; bitch; holy crap; shit

In a nutshell

Jupiter Ascending is a science fiction action drama from the makers of the Matrix trilogy. The story is predictable and the film seems like a patchwork of numerous similar films and books with familiar looking creatures and characters. While the action scenes are fast paced with copious amounts of stylised fighting there is nothing new.

There are many scary characters, and violent and disturbing scenes which justify the M rating. It is too disturbing for young children and not recommended for children under 13. Some young teens may need parental guidance.         

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

Parents may also wish to discuss with their children how the film objectifies women, specifically as sexual playthings.

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