This sprawling 3D adaptation of ‘A Princess of Mars’, the first in ‘Tarzan’ creator Edgar Rice Burroughs’s epic sci-fi series about a civil war soldier who travels to the red planet, has all the makings of a monumental folly. It was absurdly expensive (rumours suggest upwards of $250 million), stars no one you’ve ever heard of (the voice cast notwithstanding), is based on a property very few outside the geek community are familiar with, has a wildly convoluted storyline packed with silly names and outlandish locations, is saddled with one of the least exciting titles in recent memory and was directed by a relative newcomer getting his hands on a major live-action studio picture for the first time.
Taylor Kitsch is John, a reclusive ex-soldier who discovers a secret portal to the planet Mars – or Barsoom as it’s known in the local language. There he steps into the middle of a war between the forces of evil, led by preening conqueror Sab Than, Prince of Zodanga (Dominic West), and the forces of general decency, as represented by philosopher-scientist-princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins).
Now, maybe there are legions of multiplex-goers to whom the words ‘Sab Than, Prince of Zodanga’ sound like a surefire bet – but it’s unlikely. And this is merely the tip of a hefty iceberg: chuck in some four-armed Tharks, some eight-legged Thoats and Mark Strong as an evil spirit and you’ve got an unholy mess. Luckily, thanks to some stunning visual design, a sense of wry humour and ‘Wall-E’ director Andrew Stanton’s knack with an action setpiece, it’s a very entertaining, unusual and loveable mess. ‘John Carter’ could be ‘Dune’ for the 21st century – or it could be the next ‘Avatar’. Only time will tell.
Cast and crew
Thomas Haden Church
Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:4
- 3 star:3
- 2 star:3
- 1 star:0
It's supposed to be a lot of fantasy fun guy's, why do you all have to see what there isn't, its a fairy story guys, chill out and have fun, it's a good fun film.
I went to see " carter" with my teenage son , he loved it , he doesnt get out much ! I sort of enjoyed it. For me...lynn collins is best thing in film......3 d is poor....very poor.......would i recomend it ? Only if you arr a sad lonely nerd......im just off to see it again !
I kind of enjoyed the movie, but I got bored towards the end. It was a bit to predictable and long winded for me, if I been on my own I would have walked out, I was with my wife and she thought it was brilliant, I guesss you can't please everyone eh.
Well, as the intro credits and action happened with names like Tars Tarkas, Dejah Thoris (were did I hear that name before!) and stuff about the 8th ray and Isis, you may well be saying..."you wot!" but by 10 minutes in you'll be hooked by the roller-coaster story. Never dull, and great CGI. Lynn Collins makes a super warrior princess, and the Brit cast of Mark Strong, Dominic West and James Purefoy seethe menace. Rollicking good fun. Recommended, but for Sci-Fi buffs and fans of the cast only. Those who seek a meaningful art house movie, look elsewhere.
Agree with the review. It felt a bit like Stargate to me. Saw the 2D version and didn't feel like there were scenes just thrown in for 3D. Was entertained despite the dodgy 'leaping about' effects near the beginning that sort of looked like he was dangling on strings from the waist. Oddly, it ended up seeming not as made-up as it did at the start, and enjoyed some of the humour, too.
3* is exactly the right verdict - it's ludicrous, barely makes sense and the script seems like a bit of an afterthought, but also great looking, endearing and a huge amount of fun.
First half of Ian's review is SPOT ON....so why am I going for a 4*? BECAUSE the film CONSTANTLY looks GREAT (the 3D is STUNNING!....look, it's FUTILE to deny!) and the action (A LOT of it) is quality. Rushing back to see it? NO. Had a DAMN good 2 & a bit hrs? YES SIR! 7+/10
My money is on this being a Dune and not an Avatar. It looks stunning, in places, and you can see where the money was spent. If only they had spent some of it on a decent script. Kitsch is wooden and Collins little better. Throw in two Brits as the bad guys and you have your classic modern mishmash of a film. It really is making films like painting by numbers. Disney obviously saw the money made on Avatar and decided we will have some of that. In a few weeks I fully expect this film to start getting Heavens Gate type analogies. It really is that awful. It no doubt started with good intentions but ends up as a supermodel of a film. It looks good but has no content and you will soon get bored of it.
Rob, I think we have different understandings of the meaning of the word 'notwithstanding'. I'm fairly sure my usage was correct there. I, too, had heard of the voice cast. And weeeeeelll (if that is your real name), i would have thought the words 'entertaining, unusual and loveable' might have given away the fact that I liked it. to call a film a folly is by no means a criticism, in fact, its kind of a term of endearment.