I would be lying if I said I was excited for John Carter. The trailer was as unoriginal as it was uninspiring and the source material was completely unfamiliar. The cinema releases are still on their post Christmas/pre summer lull and John Carter has taken advantage of this and made an early dash for Box Office glory.
PLOT: John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is a young civil war veteran who is has left the battlefield behind and is searching for a mysterious cave of gold. After hiding in a cave from a fast approaching enemy Carter finds himself transported to Mars and into the middle of a long running war between two cities. John Carter must figure out how to save Princess Dejah (Lynn Collins) whilst figuring out how to return to earth and his elusive cave of gold. END PLOT
I have no idea how the plot of John Carter compares to Edgar Rice Burroughs' original novel but as an introduction to the series I thought the film faired quite well. John Carter started off slow and kept a steady pace with the total running time clocking in at just over two hours. I liked that the film did not attempt to whittle itself down to 90mins as this would have felt too rushed.
The script contained some clunky lines which were unfortunately emphasised by an at times wooden Kitsch and the drama school performance of Collins. Despite a few cringe worthy moments (the “look I am getting away!” line taking the top honour) Kitsch just about had the charm to lead the film.
The rest of the human supporting cast is made up of Mark Strong (when is it not!), Dominic West and James Purefoy who looked to be enjoying himself immensely. Bryan Cranson also pops up in a little cameo.
Alongside the humans we are introduced to the entirely CGI race of the Tharks. The Tharks looked impressive and the film lagged when they were not on screen. They were much more interesting than the warring humans and if there is a sequel I hope they are heavily involved.
The film looked amazing. The director of Wall:E and Finding Nemo, Andrew Stanton, has done a great job of blending CGI creatures, dusty Mars horizons and futuristic weapons together – the effects in John Carter really cannot be faulted.
I saw the John Carter in 3D as I didn’t have the option of seeing it in 2D. As a general rule I am not a fan of fad and although the 3D wasn't bad it was by no means great. If you have the choice – go with 2D.
If I am being honest I expected that my only enjoyment of this film would be to make fun of it. I was expecting John Carter to top the “so bad it is good” category but in the end I legitimately loved it.
Yes there are problems, perhaps it is too long and if you drink a shot each time John Carter gets captured you will have severe liver problems but something about the film sucked me in. I have now seen John Carter twice in the cinema and it transpires that it does hold up on a second viewing which again I wasn’t expecting. It gets a surprising and strong 8/10.
I feel like I have liked a film that the popular kids will say is uncool. I don’t care.