It’s strange that over the last week I’ve been hearing from friends that bought their Comic Con tickets or ones that got shut out while trying. It’s that crowd that has been waiting for the adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs character John Carter (would it have killed them to call the movie John Carter From Mars?). The Disney folks invested $250 million into this. Yikes.
I sometimes see food that’s wasted at parties or buffets, and think of starving people in the world. This is the first movie that I thought about the money they spent, and the poor, struggling filmmakers out there.
I enjoyed when Civil War officer John Carter was back in New York, and would’ve preferred a few more scenes of him on Earth instead of the barren red planet. And when they go to that planet, did they have to keep calling it “Helium”? That really took me out of the picture (much like it did in Avatar when they kept referring to the material they wanted…”Unobtainium”). I can’t fault them for calling the character John Carter, who made me think of Coach Carter (Samuel Jackson). This character was around decades before the coach.
Pixar director/screenwriter Andrew Stanton was probably a good choice by the Disney suits (he gave us Finding Nemo and Wall-E). What a waste of some fun special effects.
I didn’t really need Carter to discover Mars the way the cast of Avatar did, but watching a silly gun battle just made me think of some cheesy episode of Star Trek.
The creatures in this gun battle look somewhat interesting, but unfortunately remind me of Jar Jar Binks. They’re done in motion-capture, two by Willem Dafoe and Thomas Haden Church.
There isn’t much chemistry with the princess (Lynn Collins) and Carter (Taylor Kitsch). He reminds me a bit of Val Kilmer from Willow. His voice and lack of charisma made him a poor choice for this role. I did enjoy seeing Mark Strong as the villain. He has a voice that always sounds evil.
I was surprised Cowboys and Aliens didn’t get better reviews. I thought that movie was fun. Had I not seen that, perhaps I would’ve enjoyed this a bit more; but that’s doubtful.
You’ll be reminded of Star Wars, Avatar, Cowboys and Aliens, and Wild Wild West. All of those are better films (yeah, even Wild Wild West).
If you’re 12 to 18, you’ll love every second of this.
Anybody older or younger, will be bored (25 minutes should’ve been cut).
It gets 2 stars out of 5.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times