Review: John Carter

John Carter

  • 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
  • Trailer:

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

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22 comments

  1. The area is more similar to Star Wars Episode 2. The beginning also feels a lot like Back to the Future 3. Certainly though these movies borrowed from this timeless novel. I thought it was okay (my review soon), but it doesn’t need to be seen in 3D. It’s a shame it’s going to tank at the box office because I might’ve been down for a sequel.

    P.S. – I hate Mark Strong in everything!

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  2. I think I am going to take a pass on this until its streaming or on cable. I have not seen a review yet claiming that this film is great or a can’t miss. Enjoyed checking out your mostly positive review of the film

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  3. Heh! I saw the trailer to this film and thought the arena scenes looked more like the ones in Attack of The Clones! maybe that’s just me though.

    I’m a little disappointed that this film has been getting so many mixed reviews – for everyone who enjoys it, there’s at least one or two who don’t…. I won’t be seeing this at the cinema, but I’ll be enjoying it at home on BluRay when it comes out! great review Terrence.

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  4. Glad you liked this one T…I enjoyed it quite a bit myself. I don’t know why it’s getting such horrible reviews, but people seem to be paying attention to them…apparently it’s going to bomb at the box office as well. I’m not sure, but maybe it’s because the source material has been appropriated so often that it seems hackneyed?

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  5. Both you and Scott are praising this one so naturally I’m curious about it. No, not that curious to pay big bucks to see it on the big screen. If I get to see it free like you then maybe 🙂

    The supporting cast is great though, I mean James Purefoy, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds and Dominic West are my fave British character actors!

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