John Carter – Expecting Too Much

I remember watching the trailers for this film and thinking, wow! That is going to be an awesome film! So much hype! But deep down I knew it wouldn’t be that good, honestly. Not many films live up to the hype they generate, so expecting to be disappointed I decided to watch it. Perspective helps a lot when watching this film. Take into consideration this is a Disney film aimed at teens.

It’s set in Mars, yes we know it’s a barren planet today, devoid of life and water and it most likely was when the film was set, a few hundred years back. Unless some monumentally cataclysmic event happened on Mars to wipe out the very evidence of life on Mars then one could scream out “but there is no life on Mars!” Like I say, perspective. There are no green 10 feet tall, 4 armed species on Mars either, most likely. The very thought of another humanoid race on Mars is even more remote and highly unlikely. But this is Science Fiction. Once you take that into consideration, then perhaps you could settle down and enjoy it.

John Carter is not the massive all action blockbuster as advertised, but then again, very few films ever are. What it is, is a decent film with a loose plot, some nice action scenes, very good scenery and design with a lot of imagination. The imagination in design and the acceptance of plausible life on Mars, not the story or the script. The cast also is very cliché and there aren’t really any A star celebrities, which probably doesn’t help.

John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), I do think was right for the role. He was very much a man driven by discovery and desire, with a bit of a mad man complex. He was brash, rash and played the role of a self-centred lost man trying to get home pretty well.

Willem Dafoe as Tas Tarkas, the leader of the Alien tribe does a great job. His voice is easily recognisable, and works well at being not only kind and considerate, but stern and harsh when he needs to.

Princess Deja Thoris (Lynn Collins) wasn’t exactly eye candy, nor did she offer much in the form of acting. Her performance was very weak, and unlike prettier actresses where their looks could remove attention away from that, she just doesn’t cut it.

As for the rest of the evil mobs, Dominic West as Sab Than and Mark Strong as Matai Shang are very stereo typical, and fairly get enough screen time to actually make an impact in the film.

On the whole John Carter was decent. It has very good scenery and a light feel to an action film which is a bit deprived of it. But does a decent job keeping itself ticking along at a fairly enjoyable pace. Just remember, it’s a film for teens and kids.