‘John Carter’ Movie Review – An Epic Sci-Fi Adventure
Originally titled John Carter of Mars, John Carter is a sci-fi epic adventure based on the story “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which follows a former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch, ‘Friday Night Lights’), who finds himself inexplicably transported to the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). There he unwillingly becomes involved in a civil war between the inhabitants of the planet, including Sab Than (Dominic West), a 12-foot tall barbarian called Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe), who takes Carter under his wing, so to speak, and Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), who believes Carter and his abilities could be the savior of her people.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from John Carter, especially since it seems that Disney is a bit worried about its likely box office success. The film cost over $250 million and according Disney’s tracking it seems that women aren’t even interested in watching it and it’s not looking much better for young males.
That said, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the film. It has a running time of over two hours, yet it didn’t feel that long. The story is not revolutionary by any means, but it is definitely interesting and enjoyable. The funny thing was that I had a totally different idea of what John Carter was about based on the trailer. The actual story is a lot better than what I thought and makes the movie a great deal more engaging. I didn’t realize that John Carter was a human who ended up on Mars, I just thought he was a Mars inhabitant who became a champion. The fact that he is human and is “special” on Mars is one of the things I enjoyed the most about the story.
As for performances, I’ve been a fan of Taylor Kitsch since his Friday Night Lights days and he absolutely holds his own in his first lead role. He is surrounded by a pretty amazing cast including Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Bryan Cranston, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Samantha Morton and at no point does he seem out of place.
And Lynn Collins, who plays the Princess/love interest to Carter is quite gorgeous and brings a towering calmness to her performance which makes it easy to believe she really is a Princess.
The film is being released in 3D and even though I did see it in 3D, I’m not really a fan of 3D. However, the 3D wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. It didn’t make me a fan of it, but it wasn’t too distracting either. I still hate those glasses because they always end up hurting my nose after a while and some of the visuals seemed a bit fake in 3D, but it didn’t prevent me from enjoying myself. That said, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you see the film in 3D, you can enjoy it without it for sure.
Some Random Thoughts:
– The dog like creature that ends up following John Carter around is the most adorable thing ever! My favorite part of the movie.
– Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) wears some amazing outfits. I think they would be great to use as cosplay.
– Bryan Cranston’s appearance was way too short, I wish we had seen more of him.
John Carter hits theaters today and I would recommend you give it a chance if you are a fan of sci-fi and big action-adventure stories, you might actually be surprised (like me) by how much fun it is.
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