Movie Review – John Carter

If there’s one thing Disney knows, it’s how to make a movie with a princess.  The focus this time, is not so much on the princess but on her savior, John Carter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ywY6XLj258&feature=fvst

I admit, I’m not a fan of this genre.  The quick rundown on the plot is this:

Civil war soldier finds himself transported to Mars, hooks up with a race of martians that eventually wants to kill him, and on the road back to Earth, he meets a princess, falls in love, and realizes there may be room for one more on the red planet.

I do not recognize any of the actors in the movie – this may or may not be a good thing.  I did, however, keep looking at the John Carter (actor Taylor Kitsch) and thinking he was Johnny Depp in the days before he met Tim Burton.

This is action packed.  John seems to piss off a lot of people in this film, and he goes from one battle to the next.  He nearly gets eaten by blind white apes (for those that think I’m referencing my husband, shame on you – but funny!), almost killed by a ticked off time traveling Holy man, and narrowly escapes execution by the martian creatures that remind me a little like something I’ve seen in Star Wars.

The movie is entertaining.  But it’s not without it’s problems.  John Carter himself is completely flat.  We learn through flashbacks that he’s lost his wife and daughter, but he buries them with as much emotion as you have flushing a carnival goldfish down the toilet. We know that he was in the civil war, and at some point he wanted out, but there’s no story here that we’re really interested in.  And I don’t really buy him as a civil war soldier.  He doesn’t seem all that impressed by the things he discovers on Mars – like he just saw those same things on TV while watching Stargate or something the week before.  We know he falls in love with the princess, not so much because he expresses it but because he won’t go the hell home, even after he knows he has the power to do so.

The characters all look like characters you’ve seen in other movies.  After you get beyond John Carter resembling Johnny Depp, you think he looks a lot like Hercules in some scenes, Braveheart in others, and maybe even Tarzan in a few.  Princess Dejah, who can’t be called flat because of her rather prominent, ummm, hair is a main character, but I have to say, she’s so uninteresting that I’m surprised I remembered her name without looking her up.  And at the end of the movie, the characters I favored most were the supporting characters of Sola and Tars.

If I was rating the movie on a five star scale, I’d probably give it three.  Do I think it was a complete waste of time and money?  No.  Would I buy the DVD?  No.  It was a nice way to spend an afternoon, but this is definitely not a movie you’ll walk away from blown away.