John Carter

Review: John Carter

18 Mar 12

Mars yawns...

If you loved the boring, predictable hogwash that was 'Cowboys & Aliens;' if you love popcorn family inaction movies like 'Transyawners' 2 & 3 or the camp oldy sci-fi of 'Flash Gordon' - then 'John Carter' will gobble your socks off. However, if you find cardboard characters, bad acting and a script so excruciatingly terrible that it makes Michael Bay's 'Pear Harbor' read like a lost Shakespearean tragedy - then avoid. Certainly, in the hands of the Andrew Stanton (director of Disney / Pixar's 'Wall-E') this Disney sci-fi epic looks good. The art direction is superb - but for me never escaped the 2D look of old 50's pulp sci-fi cover illustrations. Whereas Cameron's 'Avatar' made up for a silly premise and lacklustre script with amazing effects, CGI, art direction and cutting-edge 3D - 'John Carter' suffers from "seen-it-all-before" syndrome. Maybe that's not fair? Apparently Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter appeared way back in 1912 in his book 'A Princess of Mars' and several sequels. Apparently Lucas was heavily influenced by 'Carter' in creating 'Star Wars'; as was Cameron in creating 'Avatar.' Well - tough. They got there first and is that 'John Carter' comes off as a hackneyed rip-off... of itself, yeah, but either way, we've been here before. Lovely to look at - but oh so tedious. Then again, maybe it's just me? Because if 'Cowboys & Aliens' is your idea of great sci-fi movie making or Cap'n Jack Sparrow is your idea of a great character, or if you honestly think 'Transtossers' 2 and 3 had great scripts - knock yourself out and go to Mars. Personally? My next sci-fi blockbuster is Ridley Scott's return to 'Alien' territory with 'Prometheus.' As for "John Carter of Earth"? He can take shove his ridiculous excuse for dialogue up his Barsoom...Mind you two stars for not being anywhere near as bad as John Travolta's Scientologist "epic" 'Battlefield Earth.' Now that was total Barsoom... As for the 3D? No great shakes. You're missing little in good ol' fashioned 2D...