Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: John Carter

The Wife: TEXAS FOREVER! Oh yes, of course I will go see a movie if it features my favorite fictional football player, Tim Riggins, on the big screen. Plus I love just going to the theatre for movies, so that is another reason why I agreed to see John Carter over the weekend. Those of you who have never seen Friday Night Lights are probably clueless about my Tim Riggins references. That sucks for you because Friday Night Lights is an amazing show! But, I am not reviewing Friday Night Lights (unfortunately). The purpose of this blog is to tackle Disney’s latest movie, John Carter. The film stars, Taylor Kitsch, who is, of course, known for his role as the troubled, sexy bad boy, Tim Riggins, on Friday Night Lights! You X-Men fans may remember him as Gambit in that horrendous Wolverine movie from a few years ago too.

John Carter is actually based on the 1917 book, A Princess of Mars. I’ve only read a few pages of it, so I can’t really say how well John Carter holds up to the book. I would like to eventually finish the book, but that’s another topic entirely. As for the movie itself, at times I couldn’t tell what I was watching. Was it a movie more for little boys who live for action, was it a comedy with a weird space-like twist, or was it another typical action thriller with good vs. evil. Other than the various tones and at times choppy plot, I will say I was pretty entertained by John Carter. It was a nice way to spend a Friday evening. Some buttery popcorn, TIM RIGGINS and very pretty action scenes = an entertained, happy me. However, as I said, the plot was quite choppy. For a movie that was really marketed to the younger boy age range, I have a hard time believing that that particular audience was able to grasp what exactly was going on at times. Nonetheless, the little boys in our theatre all seemed to enjoy themselves and laughed at all the cheesy jokes. Ok ok ok, so I laughed at the cheesy jokes too. Then again, I sometimes find Jar Jar Binks funny…so yeah I can laugh at almost ANYTHING!

The story begins in the post-Civil War era, which is not conveyed in the film’s previews at all. I already knew this, however, from the little bit of A Princess of Mars that I had read prior to seeing John Carter. We aren’t in this time period for long, as John Carter is soon magically transported to another place, which is actually another planet, MARS! Funny antics ensue with Carter not being used to the atmosphere on Mars. Then of course he meets a group of alien type people and more hijinks ensue. We later find the true “bad guys,” who apparently lurk on earth as well and have spent all their time plotting groups against each other. Our ever so savvy John Carter of course figures this out, but not before falling in love with the precious princess, who wants his help in saving her home. If I explain more I will essentially give away this choppy plot, so my spoilers will stop here.

Acting wise, I’d say Kitsch did a decent job. I still see him as Tim Riggins, but he was able to portray John Carter and make it seem like a separate character, unlike the last half of the wolverine movie where Gambit basically morphed into Tim Riggins! We didn’t get enough of Bryan Cranston, best known for his role on Breaking Bad. The other acting was ok, not great, but not horrible either. I know John Carter did poor at the box office, and I blame that on bad marketing. This movie was not promoted well at all. As I mentioned previously, John Carter seems to have a problem with finding a target audience.

Overall I enjoyed this movie, but wouldn’t say it was great. I’d recommend you wait and Netflix this one, unless you are a huge fan of the book.

Hobo Dan: Hey, this movie was really pretty. For the first time in forever a movie successfully mixed real world backdrops with amazingly realistic CGI. The Aliens looked real. Everything looked real. I often cry because movies these days have shunned any real world sets for green screens. John Carter mixes this in a great way. If you don’t like the film itself, you can surly enjoy what it has accomplished technically. The story was everywhere and at times tough to follow. The acting was okay, although no one really stood out. I agree with The Wife on most of what she said. Wait on seeing it the theater unless you liked the books or if you really like seeing graphical stunners on the big screen. Mars Forever!


  1. Despite occasional moments of silliness, the old-fashioned sense of adventure and brilliantly rendered aliens elevate this above other derivative big-budget sci-fi fare. I still wished that Kitsch did a lot better in this lead role but he was only there for eye-candy really. Good review. What also stinks is that this flick probably won’t make back any of its 250 million dollar budget. Give my review a look when you can.

  2. It seems strange to me they spent so much on this film. I guess Disney has been trying to find its Scifi/fantasy hit ever since they passed on Lord of the Rings?