Sunday, March 18, 2012

John Carter

I had to see for myself why this film has been getting so much bad press. Sometimes critics are just too critical. Yes, it's a bad hybrid of "Star Wars" meets "Avatar" with terrible dialog and some wooden acting does hold a certain appeal for the 12-year old boy in all of us.

If you are a fan of Science fiction action films, you can certainly do worse than "John Carter". If you do decide to see it, see it in IMAX 3-D where you can at least appreciate the exciting visuals. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a whole series of stories about John Carter so there is plenty of appeal of the character in literature. Translating it properly to the screen is the issue. The story is sloppy and unoriginal, blatantly stealing chunks of ideas from the earlier mentioned sci-fi giants.

The film stars Taylor Kitsch as the title hero. Mr. Kitsch has the looks but lacks the skill to pull off the role. He takes everything much too seriously and tries too hard to please. His love interest, played by Lynn Collins is attractive and handy with a sword but has little personality. Ciaran Hinds and Dominic West add some acting weight to the proceedings but this is a far cry from "Rome" or "The Wire".

The story is confusing enough transplanting a confederate soldier to Mars via a sliver medallion but once John Carter arrives he finds himself in the middle of a Martian Civil War involving humanoid Martians. At the same time, totally CGI alien looking Martians co-exist peacefully but for some reason get caught up in the war. Director Andrew Stanton has made a ton of hits for Pixar and has no problem directing his CGI Martians. It's his approach to human interaction that needs work.

The action sequences are fun and the film does look great in IMAX 3-D. Sometimes, a movie is just a movie and if escapist entertainment is all you seek, then consider John Carter. Your inner child may thank you...or throw a tantrum for wasting his allowance.

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