Gurry kicks back at Wachowski critics

12 February, 2015 by Don Groves

Mila Kunis and Kick Gurry in Jupiter Ascending.

Since Jupiter Ascending’s world premiere at Sundance the sci-fi action-adventure and writers-directors Andy and Lana Wachowski have been pilloried by most critics and the production is shaping as a costly write-off for Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures.

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Much of that criticism is unfair and disrespectful to the filmmakers, according to Kick Gurry, who plays Jupiter’s cousin Vladie in his second collaboration with the Wachowskis.

“The Matrix was the best action film of the last 25 years,” the Los Angeles-based Gurry tells IF. “I don’t know why people revel in lampooning Jupiter Ascending so much. The Wachowskis should be held in higher regard than they are by some reviewers.

“I love the movie, its message and what it stands for. It’s great that movies inspire debate and conversation but it upsets me when some of the criticism gets more personal.”

Gurry, who starred in the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer and is repped by United Management, rates the siblings as “extraordinarily talented and visionaries.”

Co-starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne and Sean Bean, the film opens in Australia next Thursday. Opening in the US last weekend it  made just $18.4 million, well below the $65 million which the pundits judged would be needed for the producers/financiers to have any chance of recouping. Deadline.com estimates the budget at $US205 million.

Some US critics were impressed with the visuals but faulted the plot and the characterisations. “Jupiter Ascending, is a big, woozy, spacey fairy tale with a science-fiction exoskeleton and a core of pure mush,” the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis opined.

"With its nods to the original Star Trek and David Lynch’s proto-steampunk hallucination Dune, it seduces the eye with filigreed flourishes even as the mind reels from some of the mildewy storytelling.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern didn’t find the film thrilling, romantic, mysterious or much fun, and he questioned why a major studio and its financial partners came to spend huge sums of money on what must have been a questionable venture from the start.

Much more positive was the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle, who said “its virtues are extraordinary, while its flaws are easy to forget because they’re so common. “

Gurry was in London shooting Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt when he bumped into the Wachowskis. Initially they offered him the small role of a pilot.

When he turned up for the costume fitting the siblings told him he’d play the more substantial character of Vladie, whom he describes as a shyster and a scoundrel with a comedic edge.

Most of his scenes were with Kunis, who plays Jupiter Jones, a humble cleaner who is told by Tatum’s interplanetary warrior that her destiny extends beyond the Earth. He describes Mila as “smart, feisty and uncompromising, a really fun girl.”

After his breakthrough role in Looking for Alibrandi, Gurry first moved to Los Angeles in 2000 to work in Gregor Jordan’s Buffalo Soldiers. He now shares a house with former Offspring star Matt Le Nevez. “I didn’t come here for the fame and fortune,” says the actor whose credits include Garage Days, Offspring and Tangle.

He often comes back to Oz, most recently to appear with his friend Adam Zwar in a new series of the Agony franchise for the ABC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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