John Carter

"Excellent"

John Carter Review


While trailers make this look like an effects-heavy sci-fi mess, the film is actually a rollicking adventure firmly centred on characters rather than the creatures or action. It's an involving, strikingly well-made action drama.

At the end of the American Civil War, John Carter (Kitsch) is in Arizona looking for gold when a strange artefact in a cave transports him to Mars, known locally as Barsoom. Getting used to the lower gravity is one thing, but he's soon captured by green, 15-foot-tall Tharks, who have four limbs plus tusks on the sides of their faces. He earns the respect of leader Tars Tarkas (Dafoe), but when he rescues Helium's Princess Dejah (Collins), he ends up in the middle of the war between red human kingdoms Helium and Zodanga.

The story is bookended with scenes of author Edgar Rice Burroughs (Sabara), John's nephew, who has a key role in a plot that includes numerous characters who are inter-connected in complex ways. Dejah's father (Hinds) is about to sell her into marriage with enemy leader Sab Than (West), who's being manipulated by Matai Shang (Strong), a angel-like Thern. Meanwhile, John is accompanied by feisty Thark warrior Sola (Morton) and an enormous, slobbery dog-thing who's fiercely loyal to him.

The film is packed with these kinds of details, cleverly woven into the script to make the story funny, intriguing and thrilling. It's also extremely fast-paced, never letting up the tension as John is propelled from one dangerous situation into another, discovering things about himself that he never knew. And as we take this journey with him, we feel the punch of terror and exhilaration along with emotional resonance on a variety of fronts.

On a technical level, the film looks terrific. The effects work continually surprises us with animated characters who are thoroughly engaging, while the 3D camerawork makes nice use of the desert locations. And even if the story feels constructed, with action and emotional beats at key intervals, it never feels contrived. Like the 1977 Star Wars, it's a pure story of a young man looking into himself and deciding what's really important. OK, it's not that ground-breaking, but it bodes well for adaptations of Burroughs' 10 other Barsoom novels.



John Carter

Facts and Figures

Run time: 132 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th March 2012

Box Office USA: $73.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $284.1M

Budget: $250M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 51%
Fresh: 111 Rotten: 108

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Lindsey Collins, Jim Morris,

Starring: as John Carter, as Matai Shang, as Tars Tarkas, as Tardos Mors, as Sola, as Tal Hajus, as Sab Than, as Kantos Kan, as Powell, as Sarkoja, as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arkie Reece as Stayman #1 / Helm, Davood Ghadami as Stayman #3, Pippa Nixon as Lightmaster, as Dejah Thoris

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

Advertisement
England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.