Friday, March 9, 2012

Movie Review: "John Carter"

I really wanted to like John Carter, but unfortunately that was not the case.  The titular character, John Carter, is a veteran of the American Civil War, but he lost his way after the deaths of his wife and child.  One day in the Wild West, he's pursued by Indians.  He hides out in a cave which magically transports him to Mars, where he now has Superman-like powers and is being heralded as its savior.  Everything about John Carter just feels old hat.  Sure, films like Avatar and Star Wars were partially inspired by the original Edgar Rice Burroughs' books, but the fact of the matter is, science fiction and fantasy have just grown in sophistication since Burroughs initially wrote these tales in the early 1900s.  It's very hard to suspend disbelief in the idea that you could fall asleep in a cave on Earth and wake up on Mars.  As well, unlike many other sci-fi films that came after it, we're introduced to three different alien cultures that contend with our attention span, each with convoluted, hard to understand customs, not to mention all of them having an affinity for big words that seem to have little founding in the English language.  What films like Star Wars did, is they took our everyday customs and transported them in a dressed up setting, to where, while we were on another world experiencing fantasy, we believed it because the emotions being shown were not far from those that we might experience in our own lives in trying situations.  However, even with all this, the special effects are quite good, as is the music by Michael Giacchino, but the rest of the film is not.  Featuring a stilted performance from Taylor Kitsch as Carter, and many attempts at humor and romance that just fall flat, this is just a huge misfire from Disney.

I give John Carter an F

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