John Carter (2012)
Director: Andrew Stanton
Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi
Knowing that Andrew Stanton who played a huge part in many Pixar films makes the fact that this film was so terrible all the more disappointing. The story had potential and with Stanton on board why did it go wrong?
Firstly the title. John Carter? The name really doesn’t say anything at all about the film. John Carter of Mars at least advises it to be a science fiction, but John Carter alone stands for nothing. However the title isn’t the real problem of the film, the over-complicated, dull, narrative is.
I would explain the plot briefly before moving on to giving my opinion of the film… but I can’t guarantee it will help you understand very much about the film because quite frankly I don’t understand very much at all.
Roughly John Carter wakes up on Mars also known as Barsoom after being transported there with some sort of gadget and finds he can jump… really high. (and what kind of uninteresting, uncreative superpower is that?) He then stumbles upon meeting ‘Tharks’ (green aliens) and becomes involved in an alien war and saves a princess, the typical fantasy story.
The narrative of the film defiantly had interesting elements with moments where you could almost connect with the characters, but none of it was really developed. Arguably there was a theme of loss and John Carter overcoming the loss of his wife and child, but it just wasn’t executed so that you could really notice and feel what Carter was feeling during these moments.
It was a complete mess, this might have been adapted from a book, but was there really any need to have every detail? Most of it was just unnecessary and over complicated the narrative; there was so much going on with very little explanation that made it incredibly difficult and uncomfortable to follow what was on screen. With its over complicated plot the film drags on and on and feels double time it actually runs for. Not only does it do this, but also there was a moment towards the end of the film that was really a logical end for the film, yet Stanton drags it on for another fifth teen minutes at least.
The script is another downfall and again made me feel uncomfortable to watch and listen to the conversations between John Carter and the Princess of Mars.
Whilst the settings and animated effects are reasonably nice to look at its hard to see what Disney spent so much money on for the film other than this because expensive looking visuals and perhaps the mildly attractive lead role played by Taylor Kitsch (wait, Taylor who?) are about the only thing this film has to offer.
If you’re bored on a Sunday afternoon you could always give this film a watch but I wouldn’t advise you to rush out and spend your money on a Blu-ray copy of this film.