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

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

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.