I’ve been waiting for this film for what seems for-ev-er!
After what seems like an eternity of false starts, delays and pre-production … the world finally gets to see .. John Carter.
I’ll overlook how badly Disney have marketed the movie (amongst that, the poor title given to the film), as it has almost jeopardised the future of the franchise, but will begin by saying that the film is very crafted, looks great, with very likeable actors.
With a modest main cast, Taylor Kitsch is good as John Carter and Lynn Collins is even better as Princess Dejah. Indeed, Princess Dejah almost steals the movie, which is perhaps not surprising given the origin novel this film was based upon, “Princess of Mars”.
The support cast add much quality to the production, especially Willem Defoe, Samantha Morton and Thomas Haden Church performing as characters of Mars.
The movie is more humorous and light-hearted than I was expecting. Parts of the film reminded me of the kookiness of Flash Gordon (1980). Nonetheless, enough brutal deaths and violence ensured a PG-13 rating. The story-telling is also great, I like how the script allowed for flashbacks in time (and worlds) and book-ended the film in the events taking place on Earth.
I have no significant negatives to comment about the movie. I saw it in 3-D, but didn’t think it added much to the visuals, which is mostly a flaw of post-production “fake” 3D films. Maybe it lagged a little midway through, and I’m sure some time could have been shaved off the 130+ minutes to make it a little bit tighter.
A definite purchase for me when it has a blu-ray release later this year. I hope strong DVD/BD sales will be enough to convince Disney that this franchise deserves a future, for there be many “Barsoom” adventures I like to see!
Score: 7.5 out 10.