Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Movie Review: John Carter - The Generic Hero of Mars

A hundred years ago (1912) Edgar Rice published a series called “John Carter of Mars”. An adventurer with a tragic past lands on a strange planet and becomes it’s hero by saving a princess with his incredible jumping power. The series predates a lot of big titles that are still to this day very popular. A lot of John Carter’s characteristics were used for heroes such as Superman (lands on a strange planet and becomes its hero) and Super Mario (has the power to jump really high and saves a princess).  A cool idea for a movie, wouldn’t you think? Well, unfortunately, it could have been so much better.

John Carter (2012) has two major problems. The first one is the character John Carter (Taylor Kitsch). It’s a pretty boring and generic character. John Carter is pretty much a flawless hero, just like we have seen so many already. He is strong, righteous, helps the weak…a good guy. The only tension-building aspect of his character is that he doesn’t really care about Mars (or how it’s called in the novel and movie, Barsoom). Carter just wants to go home, but of course there comes a moment where he changes his mind and he does start to care, and that moment is, unfortunately, incredibly predictable.

The second problem is the plot itself. As I have said before, the stories of Edgar Rice are a great idea for a script. However, in this case it wasn’t executed as well as it could. The plot of John Carter, just like the character, is very predictable. It’s nothing new, you have seen this a thousand times. Maybe it was new a hundred years ago when the series was written, but today we need a bit more. The predictability, combined with the generic character and the movies length, make for a pretty boring experience.

Luckily, the movie isn’t all bad. Disney spend a lot of money on the special effects, money they have lost because the movie flopped, however they are pretty good. The movie looks great; there are some cool effects and real-looking creatures. One creature in particular is Woola, a strange, big-faced dog, who is both adorable and hilarious. A real joy to look at. And we also have a great performance by Lynn Collins as the very attractive, smart and ballsy princess Dejah Thoris. The movie also contains a couple of really great fight scenes, which make it more bearable to watch. These elements turn a dull movie into an average movie; they are what kept me watching all the way to the end.

In conclusion, John Carter was a good idea that was badly executed, which caused it to flop. I don’t really recommend it; there are a lot better movies to watch.

Leave a comment with your thoughts on the review, or on the movie itself. I’d Love to hear what you have to say. If you have any movies you would like me to review, send me an e-mail at: nuggettreviews@gmail.com

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