“John Carter” – Review By FilmWizard Marsh

You may be surprised on how much of an impact Edgar Rice Burroughs’s ‘A Princess of Mars’ has had on science fiction and cinema alike. Just how much of an impact you might ask. Let me put it to you this way: George Lucas said that without ‘A Princess of Mars,’ ‘Star Wars’ wouldn’t have existed. The first exposure of the character John Carter was in ‘A Princess of Mars,’ making this character and this story the inspiration of science fiction so to speak. That’s why it baffles me that it’s taken literally a century for someone to take John Carter and put him into his own movie. And just what that movie might be known as? You guessed it, ‘John Carter.’ ‘John Carter’ is a deeply layered story so much that the trailers and TV spots of the film don’t do this movie any justice whatsoever. I was starting to really dislike this movie in the first 20 minutes or so because of how silly and corny it got, but then it started getting cooler, and cooler, and even cooler than cool. Overall, I enjoyed ‘John Carter’ probably more than I should have. It’s an extremely cheesy, but overall epic and fun movie that I would highly recommend checking out.

If my memory serves me right, this is only Taylor Kitsch’s second big Hollywood movie, the first being ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine.’ The ‘Friday Night Lights’ star is clearly trying to get his name out there in Hollywood, and I believe that he has with this movie. Kitsch, who plays John Carter, is charming, funny, and quite a There is a particular battle scene that involves him coping with some losses in the past that is very powerful to watch. His acting isn’t the greatest, but I do see him going to do greater things in the future. Lynn Collins of ‘True Blood’ fame overacts a little. Plus her British accent isn’t very good throughout the movie. Her acting though wasn’t as bad as you’d expect. I didn’t mind her as much as I thought I would, but her acting isn’t perfect, despite her looks being incredibly stunning.

The rest of the cast has a lot of famous actors who are all in the movie for brief periods of the movie. Willem Dafoe plays the main alien Tars Tarkas, and it seemed that he was only in the movie for two things: 1.) to call John Carter “Virginia,” and 2.) to be apart of a father/daughter story that went nowhere. Thomas Haden Church was hardly noticeable as the voice of Tal Hajus, who is basically Willem Dafoe’s Barsoomian enemy. Mark Strong, who should now be known as the go to leading villain, plays a member of a group that controls the entire balance of the universe, which is disrupted when John Carter lands on Mars. (Or as it’s referred to in the movie as Barsoom) We also have Ciarán Hinds, who plays the father of Lynn Collins/king of Barsoom, and even Bryan Cranston shows up for a 5 minute cameo as a colonel officer from Earth. The supporting cast is impressive, but overall they are not used very well in the movie.

It’s sort of hard to believe that the director of ‘Finding Nemo‘ directed a movie like this. This is a complex film with a decent enough script and cool special effects to keep you along for the ride. Sure it isn’t as good as ‘Finding Nemo,’ but Stanton should have a fine career in the future if he wants to escape animation. I blame Disney’s marketing company for this movie’s current disaster story at the box office. If audiences had known that this was more than just a sci-fi movie and a lot better than something average, then this movie would’ve gotten much more attention. The cast is fine, the special effects are awesome, and the story comes full circle in a way that makes you want to see a sequel, which they tease for at the end of the film. Overall, even though this review is pretty late, I’d say check out ‘John Carter’ if you can. Just don’t see it in 3D though, because it is awful in this movie.  It’s not as cool and fun as ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,’ which was directed by another Pixar director, Brad Bird, but this is still a very enjoyable movie and worth taking the interstellar trip to see. Check it out if there isn’t anything else out that you haven’t seen and want to have some fun for over two hours.

Rating: 3.25/4

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