John Carter: Review

13 Mar

John Carter is the protagonist/hero of an intergalactic space adventure based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom series.  Former Confederate Captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), while on the hunt for a cave of gold, is mysteriously and accidentally transported to Barsoom (Mars).  While on Barsoom, Carter discovers that he has developed some extraordinary gifts including the ability to jump long distances and super strength.  These new skills attract attention and he becomes part of a conflict between the planet’s various nations.  The nations’ leaders include Princess Dejah Thoris of Helium (Lynn Collins), Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the evil Prince of Zoganda Sab Than (Dominic West).  Carter at first reluctantly helps Princess Dejah but, then slowly feels his place is no longer on Earth.

The first thing I want you to know – John Carter is by no means a great movie.  It’s in the same league as other Disney movies like Prince of Persia and Pirates of the Caribbean, which means one point for fun; zero points for style and substance.  What makes John Carter bearable are all the little things in the movie.

Tars Tarkas, leader of the Tharks, is awesome.  Thark culture is vastly different from that of Helium and Zoganda.  Tharks are essentially green Spartans: a warrior culture that despise weakness whether it is physical or mental.  So it’s surprising how considerate Tars Tharks can be to John Carter and Thark outcast, Sola.

If you’re a fan of the HBO series Rome then you have to see John Carter.  Ciaran Hinds and James Purefoy are reunited in similar roles to their Rome counterparts and it’s nice to see them in something since we are still waiting for the Rome movie.

The best thing about the movie for me is John Carter’s monster dog.  It is so cute it makes my heart hurt.  Every time, the dog follows Carter into a dangerous situation, I kept thinking “please don’t let the dog die.”

There are some pretty horrible things about John Carter like Lynn Collins as Princess Dejah.  You might recognize her as Silverfox from Wolverine:Origins and let me tell you, her acting skills have not improved.  Collins seems to be going through the motions and her character has no substance.  According to the Barsoom series, Dejah is meant to be a warrior princess and though we get a glimpse of that character in John Carter, it all feels very contrived.

Mark Strong leads the Therns as Matai Shang.  Therns are a sneaky and mysterious group that help guide the fate of Barsoom…and not in a good way.  Here’s what’s annoying-Mark Strong is a good actor and he’s completely wasted in the movie.  His character’s costuming is ridiculous and it’s hard to believe that he is a menacing character.

I would recommend seeing John Carter because it’s mindless and fun, but go on a cheap Tuesday or wait for video. It is not worth $12 bucks.

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3 Responses to “John Carter: Review”

  1. JB March 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    But no comment on Taylor Kitsch? I love him so… I was so sad when I saw the trailer for this and decided it was likely to suck. I guess we can still hope that ‘Savages’ will be worthy of the early hype it’s getting ’cause god only knows ‘Battleship’ looks ridiculously terrible.

  2. calmiron March 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Let’s just say Taylor Kitsch is lucky he’s good looking…really really ridiculously good looking.

    I want to see the Savages, but I have never been a fan of Oliver Stone. Why does he always make historical movies, if you’re just going to change the facts?

    • JB March 14, 2012 at 3:36 am #

      We are in agreement when it comes to Oliver Stone. I’ve had a hate-on for him FOREVER! But I still want a win for Taylor Kitsch (from hence forth I will only refer to him as Riggins… ’cause he’ll always be Riggins to me!).

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