It’s good to be able to plan ahead. I’ve been sitting here thinking about my top-10 list for the films of 2015. “Jupiter Ascending” has already secured a spot on it. Written and directed by the Wachowskis, it’s the follow-up to the amazing but, for general audiences, too challenging “Cloud Atlas” (which I’ve seen six times), and while that film took some dips into the realms of science fiction, this one jumps into full-blown SF and never looks back.

Mila Kunis plays Jupiter, a Russian emigrant living in Chicago, where she and her mom work as drudges cleaning homes, and living in cramped quarters with an extended family. Jupiter is unhappy with her dull life. Until the day she’s attacked by a bunch of creepy little alien creatures who try to kill her ... until she’s rescued by the hunky, Spock-eared Caine (Channing Tatum), a “tracker” who swoops down in his anti-gravity boots to bring her to some other planet where he’s supposed to deliver her to a waiting member of royalty. She is, after all, though she doesn’t know it, the “Queen of the Universe,” or something like that.

Anyone who’s seen the Wachowskis’ “Matrix” trilogy knows this ain’t gonna be a simple joy ride. Viewers will need to pay attention to follow things clearly, but this is a romp that’s worth it.

Caine is mostly human, but he’s been spliced with a bit of wolf DNA, which gives him some extra abilities. He’s also a disgraced solider who has lost his wings (you can see the scars when he’s shirtless, and he’s shirtless a lot), which is why he needs the anti-gravity boots to fly. Jupiter is a Recurrence, a human with the exact gene pattern of a recently deceased Queen of the Universe, which is why the former queen’s offspring want to meet Jupiter.

OK, it’s more complicated than that. The film is about comparisons and contrasts between families. Jupiter is a Bolotnikov. There’s some warm and funny and slightly outrageous time spent with that boisterous group sitting and yakking around a crowded dinner table. The late queen’s adult kids are the Abrasax family – Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Titus (Douglas Booth), and Kalique (Tuppence Middleton). Kalique is vain, Titus is a slick playboy, and Balem is just plain evil. They’re at each other’s throats, and they don’t just want to meet Jupiter. Hell, she’s a threat to them. They don’t want her to ascend to queendom. They want to kill her. It’s a good thing Caine keeps taking his shirt off and saving her.

The details of the story get a bit more down and dirty and grim than just killing one woman, especially when those three Royals let on how they make use of the rest of Earth’s inhabitants. Yet the Wachowskis prove that they can also comfortably slip into goofy mode. When Jupiter is told she must fill out certain forms before she can become queen, she goes through some hellishness in a DMV-like office on another world, where a disgruntled civil servant is bogged down in paperwork. Not only is the scene reminiscent of the bureaucratic morass of Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil,” the Wachowskis got Gilliam to play the civil servant.

But at its epic heart, “Jupiter Ascending” is an action movie, and it rarely lets you forget that. Just after Jupiter is first rescued by Caine, she’s unwillingly involved in an astounding chase along the streets, under the water, and through the skies of Chicago, courtesy of those anti-gravity boots, with nasty aliens blasting at them along the way. Later, during the nonstop action of the last 20 minutes, the Wachowskis don’t just pull out all the stops, they keep on making up new ones, then pull those out, too.

Among the script’s suggestions are: There are many inhabited planets out there, the birthplace of the human race was not Earth, bees are genetically designed to recognize royalty, and the choice of the most important things in the universe are family, profit, immortality, love or anti-gravity boots. There’s so much going on in this movie, it demands a second viewing. I’ve got no problem with that. I’m going again next week.

Ed Symkus covers movies for More Content Now.

JUPITER ASCENDING
Written and directed by the Wachowskis
With Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth
Rated PG-13