Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Movie Review - 'John Carter'

April Barkley
WCB Movie Writer

Earthman John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is transported to Disney’s version of life on Mars in this so-far box office hit. Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E) takes viewers on an exhausting journey through a sci-fi/fantasy world of action, romance and Avatar-looking creatures.

Carter, Civil War vet and former military captain, encounters the native green Tharks who need a helping hand (despite the fact that they already have four each) and the badass princess (Lynn Collins) of the city Helium. They fight for their survival in what seems to be another civil war between two human tribes to help save Helium.

The film is packed with some awesome visuals and well done graphics that will keep viewers’ attention while they try to follow along with the numerous plot sequences. There is some light humor and Carter’s cute-trusty dog-like pal Woola to help ease the very dramatic 2 hours and 20 minutes. You can’t take this movie too seriously or you will be upset by some of its absurdity.

Despite some fun moments in the film, it was difficult to follow along with the several confusing plots that made me keep looking at my watch. There were such overdramatic hurdles and such easy solutions. A medallion is the source to all their problems for getting Carter to Earth from Mars. There usually is some sort of pendant in these types of movies that transports the protagonist to different places.

The good news here is that Kitsch looks fantastic in a loincloth and his damsel-in-distress-of-a-princess looks just as hot while she slices up the bad guys. Of course there will be some romance, and of course it’s between the earthman and the princess who is to be wed to someone she detests. Thanks to Kitsch’s macho character, he saves the princess during the beginning of the movie mid-battle. Regular Romeo if you ask me. And from there, we all know they will fall in love. Their romance seemed pretty cliché and I found myself less invested in them and more in watching Carter look silly as he jumps around on screen. His muscles are very powerful in the low gravity of Mars that makes his every step take him flying up and over the desert. The Tharks are impressed. I giggled.

Based on the novel “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the film does stay true to the definition of science fiction. It plays with odd-looking creatures, space exploration, and action-packed violent battles, which makes it a fun, intense and loud but at times, a flawed film.

2.5 stars out of 4

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