- Starring: Taylor Kitsch (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Lynn Collins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Willem Dafoe(Spider-Man)
- Directed by: Andrew Stanton
- Synopsis: “From Academy Award(R)-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”–a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). “John Carter” is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.” (Disney)
- Rated: PG-13 for intense action, violence, and some language
The tale of John Carter reaches the big screen and it does so in a big way. For this humble movie-lover I am glad to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this new adventure.
After the disappointment of Disney’s downward spiraling franchise of The Pirates of the Caribbean (Seriously, the POTC films got progressively worst after the amazing first installment. They are sinking!–couldn’t avoid the “sinking” and “pirates” usage there.), I wasn’t sure what to expect from this new Disney “hopeful.” The only thing I wanted was for it to be fun in the way of visuals, story, action, and adventure.
Was it? Was John Carter a fun film to enjoy? Or was it a dud? Let’s take a look.
John Carter delivered what I had hoped for!
Blending action, scifi, adventure, love, fighting, flying, and mystery, John Carter has the makings of being the great franchise the POTC aspired to be. Sure, it has several similarities to many other films that we have already seen before: Star Wars Episode II, Avatar, Cowboys & Aliens, Pirates of the Caribbean, Prince of Persia, Star Wars Episode II…again, The Chronicles of Riddick, oh, and Star Wars Episode II (did I already mention that? Oops. The “arena” scenes are highly familiar!). But, I tend to view these similarities in this instance as smart choices by the writers to implement the best parts of the aforementioned films and create one that is fun and entertaining which involves the viewer and captivates the attention.
This film adequately blends two worlds/stories combined into one film. It ties them together from beginning to end. Craftily, it takes the hardened veteran of the U.S. Civil War and places him into the “futuristic” martian world that is also smack-dab in the middle of a civil war of sorts. Carter, much like everyone else, is faced with the realization that he must know what it is he stands for, fights for, and is willing to die for. Enter the gorgeous Princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris. It’s always about the girl, right?!
Through numerous battles without and within, John Carter’s true warrior spirit shines through. Kitsch takes on the titular role in good form. With additionally great performances from the supporting cast (Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, Thomas Haden Church, Ciarán Hinds, Bryan Cranston, and more…didn’t know so many were in this film, did ya?), the story of John Carter is an amazing and fun adventure that, while maintaining a slightly recycled plot is just new enough to hold surprises and excitement throughout.
Be sure you check out this out-of-this-world adventure full of fantastic scenery and style!
Score: 4 out of 5 stars for John Carter
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer