John Carter

Gambit goes to Mars and finds Wolverines dead girlfriend

Some background, John Carter is based on a series of comics (Barsoom series) from 1912 the first one  which was almost made in 1931 as an animated movie which would’ve made it the first ever, before Snow White in 1936, but it never quite happened and has been around a few times since with Disney trying again in the 1980’s, Paramount in 2004 with two different directors (Robert Rodriguez and Jon Favreau) then selling back to Disney for it to finally be made. So 100 years since it was published and 79 years since the first attempt until it got the go ahead.

Set in ye olde Victorian times and Mars as well obviously, the former being the opening for the film and its narrative, which I’m not necessarily a fan of but it does serve a purpose and is not present for the majority of the film, moving on John Carter is an ex Cavalry man who fought in the civil war (can’t remember what colour his coat was but pretty sure he fought on our side because he knew what was good for him) and for some reason now hunts for treasure when he stumbles on something and gets transported to Mars/Barsoom where he can jump really high and has hulk style strength.

Taylor Kitsch in the titular role is ok (my vocabulary is outstanding, I know) it’s hard to say much more, he does a decent job of being confused (and annoyed) but can’t help but feel the script yields little more for him to play with apart from the occasional far off look in his eye as he remembers… stuff (no spoilers here). John Carters powers seem a bit inconsistent as well, particularly his strength, capable of breaking prison chains and killing a Thark in one punch yet unable to break a similar chain or even some leather bindings later on as well as surrendering when he should be punching aliens in the face and getting on with his day. Lynn Collins plays Dejah Thoris a human like Martian who happens to be a princess (and happens to be really hot while sporting some sexy metal pants), her role alternates between damsel in distress and sword wielding Amazonian goddess (ok she’s not actually a goddess or Amazonian but hot warrior princess doesn’t sound as good), Collins does a good job with this particularly as she tries to convince John carter to save mars but falls short on being anything more than two dimensional, save my planet and oh new strange half naked man that’s forbidden fruit is about as complex as it gets, that coupled the inconsistency of Amazonian damsel warrior goddess in distress does not do this film any favours even if it/she looks good. Support roles mostly covered by CG actors, Willem Dafoe being one of them, Ciaran Hinds as Dejah Thoris’ Father and in a shocking new role is Mark Strong as a bad man (yes, I am being sarcastic and no, I am not better than that but he’s always evil save for when he played Archie in Rock’n’Rolla).

Far as I’m aware a lot of filming was done in Utah to double as the baron red planet (most of the series was also written in Utah), which is believable enough adding in the CG settlements and effects I can see where the budget went, it does look pretty amazing and I think only once I managed to spot a glimpse of an anomaly. That being said the 3D must be acknowledged and in the case of John Carter it is largely pointless, it didn’t seem to add much to the film at all, given that it’s Disney and has a 12a rating I was expected more things coming out of the screen, admittedly it added depth to the landscapes which probably made it easier to buy in to being on Mars but served little purpose other than that; can’t help but wonder how much of the mega budget went towards it.

Verdict time but first I’m going to ramble on a bit mainly about this films crazy budget and how much I keep hearing stupid US sites going on about what a major flop it is without mentioning if the film is any good or not. The budget is reported to be $250 million with an additional $100 million on advertising which it is not earning back but those kind of takings are usually reserved for summer blockbusters, even then the cinemas keep about half of it so really the bad press is only down to Disney for being so incredibly stupid, taking a series that virtually no one has ever heard of and getting a front man who almost is as equally unknown (for now, he should be pretty big soon with Battleship coming up as well) and pumping in so much money even past the original $150 million budget, in short heads deserve to roll for such a gargantuan cock up. Why am I so bothered about this? Because despite all its flaws John Carter is enjoyable, with it being a series I would expect another film to follow but thanks to poor budgeting and a complete misjudgement of the market it looks incredibly unlikely. It’s an enjoyable enough adventure with truly impressive detail and effects but suffers due to lack of depth and consistency in the characters and a storyline which is fairly predictable except for one twist somewhere in the film, there are a few one liners and things which are kind of funny which certainly adds a likeability to the film. I say John Carter deserves the three breasted alien from Total Recall so 3 boobs equals 3 stars.

Sorry all the pictures I could find were censored, go else where for boobage. And here’s the trailer for anyone who’s not seen it:

John Carter was reviewed in boobage loads of content by James Knowland.

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