It’s no secret that John Carter cost Disney a lot of money in losses when it bombed at the box office. For someone who directed hits like Wall-E, and Finding Nemo, maybe live action wasn’t his forte. There are many speculations about why it bombed including the fact it debuted during another movie aimed at the same age group (The Hunger Games), or that it just wasn’t appealing to audiences in general. That leaves the question was the movie just that bad? Though the premise sounds odd it actually wasn’t that bad of a movie, but considering I’m not a sci-fi fan that aspect was a struggle for me.
John Carter is a Civil War veteran who is having a tough time in his own world, until he stumbles onto a path that leads to another planet. On this planet he has some huge strengths that catch the attention of some native barbarians who take him captive. A princess who has a lot of courage is also taken captive and catches the eye of John, but she is struggling to escape a marriage she is being essentially forced into. Both of them want to escape being captive, but John discovers that he might want something more than wanting to go home, while Dejah discovers it could be her fault if anything bad befalls her people.
Taylor Kitsch is having a rough time in Hollywood. While X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a place that appeared to be a promising start for him his movies since then have been a huge failure, and not just minor ones. His other huge release this year was Battleship, and we know how that one sunk. Again, it seems his movies could just have very poor timing, and ridicule attached to them. There were endless jokes about both the premise of them. He isn’t a bad actor though, and I think he has potential. He wasn’t particularly memorable as John Carter, which may be a huge problem though. There is also Lynn Collins as Dejah, which honestly just seemed forgettable. I hate to say it, but she just felt like a pretty face.
To go back to what I said earlier I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi. A lot of the times I felt the movie was darting everywhere, which gave it a lot of twists, but a casual viewer, or someone just wanting an easy popcorn movie might find this a bit much, especially considering this seems to be marketed as a popcorn movie that doesn’t take much consumption. It’s not a deep movie but moves around a lot.
The acting is decent, and the shots are made for a huge blockbuster experience. There are some moments where it just drags and feels like a long time for it’s 2 hour run time. I watched a movie the same night of the same length it went by so much quicker than this one. Had it been a more cohesive movie without what seemed some endless scenes I think it would have been a smoother movie.
Rating 3 of 5.