John Carter: DVD Movie Review
Was the movie really that bad? Was it worth a watch?
I thought so and here is why.
John Carter: DVD Movie Review-
On March 9, 2012 Disney released the big budget action movie John Carter. It was met with colossal failure in the theaters and is considered one of the biggest box office bombs in recent memory. Audiences didn't know what to expect, and it was hammered by critics. It even led to the resignation of the Disney Entertainment Executive due to the huge losses the movie sustained. With all the negative publicity, and not understanding what the movie was myself, I avoided it like the plague. However, as the months have gone by there has been a steady stream of people saying that it wasn't as bad as we were led to believe. Now with the release of the DVD I finally decided to invest two hours of my life into it and give it a watch. The amazing thing is that though having zero expectations for it, I was pleasantly surprised with the movie. We are not talking Oscars here, but it should have done better in the theater than it did. Here is the low-down on the film.
The lead roles in the film were played by Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins. Kitsch plays John Carter, a former Confederate Cavalryman who ends up getting himself transported to the planet Mars and meets the Professor/Princess Dejah Thoris (Collins). The story finds Carter in the middle of a Martian civil war, where unseen players seem to be pulling the strings behind the scenes. Of course he meets the damsel in distress, which is of course the scantily clad Collins, and a Martian romance blooms while in the middle of a fast paced action adventure. You meet green skinned aliens, gray gorilla beasts and martian dogs, the later being one of the best points of the movie. For the most part the action scenes were pretty good along with the CGI. Costumes were well done, and I actually really thought the technology used in the movie with airships riding light currents was a pretty neat idea. The pacing of the story was very fast and was by no means perfect, but the sudden twist at the end of the movie (which I will not spoil here if anyone cares) was really well done. Both Kitsch and Collins were worthy of the lead roles, and the bomb that this movie was should not be blamed on them. I thought the landscapes were well done. Using the American Southwest as the red planet worked very well as far as I was concerned. In all there was much more good about the movie than bad.
The movie is by nature a pretty hardcore Sci-fi Fantasy Adventure with some pretty far fetched ideas. In the day and age where movie goers want a certain level of believability, that may have been the downfall of this film. John Carter basically becomes a super-hero type of character on Mars. His ability to super-jump is one of the core concepts of the movie, but by itself may have turned a lot of people off. It is absolutely unbelievable that simply being in another planet's gravity would make any ordinary human capable of what he was during the movie. If your imagination as a movie goer can accept this fact than you will enjoy the movie. If it does not than you may not want to bother watching it. Think of a modern Flash Gordon with better special effects. It is a modern Space Adventure without much reality behind it. The movie is far-fetched but isn't that what enjoying movies is all about?
This movie did have some warts, there is no doubt about that. One of the biggest was that for the first third of the movie I really didn't care a whole lot about who John Carter was or why I should care about him. That is not to say Kitsch acted poorly, rather they made the character difficult to appreciate it. He comes across as a rebellious jerk in some parts and that alienated me from the character for awhile in the film. I also didn't exactly understand why the two warring factions on Mars looked human except for their red skin. In fact they kept calling them red skinned but I just thought they had used too much bronzer at the local tanning salon. It also seemed like the four-armed barbarian lizard men of Mars actually had better weapons than the human looking Martians had. It was a fact that kind of bothered me as I couldn't really figure out how the race that was superior as a species being bigger and faster with better weapons and four arms would be the race that was oppressed. It kind of didn't make much sense. I also though there were a couple of parts where the writers and producers got lazy. The foremost of which was the pit where they had to fight the gray gorilla beasts. It was a complete rip-off from the Attack of the Clones Genoshian battle arena. It literally felt like they had taken the actual CGI from that movie and just put different aliens in the stands, that was by far and away the worst part of the entire film. The other scene was where they were going down the river on a raft to get to the gates of the Martian goddess. The location that it was filmed at felt like I had seen it before in so many movies and was disappointing. I thought they may have been able to find a little bit more of an exotic location to shoot at.
In all I enjoyed it. It was not the best movie I have ever seen, nor was it the abysmal catastrophe I was led to believe when it was in the theaters. The movie had it's moments and was a fun watch. A perfect movie to catch on Netflix or as a rental. It is a shame it got lambasted so badly by critics when it came out and had such a bad marketing campaign as it wasn't that terrible of a movie. If Disney could do it over again I don't think the movie would do so bad. In the meantime hit the video store or the internet on a slow night and burn a couple of hours watching it.
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