About Me

My photo
United Kingdom
Mike Wilder brings you movie reviews. Each week a Selection of reviews for new releases and older films plus movie comparisons.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Review of John Carter (2012) by Mike

Title: John Carter (2012)

Original UK Release Date: 9th March 2012

Original US Release Date: 9th March 2012

UK Rating: 12

US Rating: PG-13

Director: Andrew Stanton

Genre: Action/Sci-Fi

Plot: During the American Civil War, a former soldier searching for gold is transported to Mars. After forming an alliance with a princess he finds himself amidst another war and has to fight for his and the planets survival.

Mike's Review
I knew almost nothing about the story other than it was set on Mars. I am not familiar with the stories about John Carter at all, all I knew was its a big effects movie and considered a major flop at the box office. Looking at the trailer it kind of reminded me of Prince of Persia with the desert setting and a reluctant hero and heroine, but with aliens.
The story sees John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), searching for gold during the American Civil War. After finding a large amount of gold he encounters a mysterious man and kills him in self-defence. He takes a medallion off the man and finds himself transported to Mars. Once there he discovers that his Earth heritage gives him great abilities when once again he is thrust into a civil war and must fight for his survival.
The film stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Dominic West, Mark Strong & CiarĂ¡n Hinds. A great cast of actors many from the UK and they are all well used in the film. Taylor Kitsch is great in the starring role, but the stand out performance for me was Dominic West as Sab Than. He plays the ruthless character perfectly. Hungry for power and destruction, he asks for his rival’s daughters hand in marriage to end the war. He has powers granted to him that rival John Carter’s abilities and is a formidable opponent.
The effects in the film are completely mind blowing. But once again this is to be expected in modern films especially those with a budget of around $250,000,000! It was definitely money well spent as the film looks incredible from the flying vehicles to the four armed giant natives. Watching the natives fighting is spectacular.
The story is also good, but one we have seen many times before. However setting it on Mars makes a nice change and allows for a lot of creativity. The mix of technology and primitive weapons works well and allows for some spectacular fights and battles.
This was a great film, really fun to watch and enjoyable. But it wasn’t anything more than we have seen before. There are elements of The Scorpion King, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Clash of the Titans. However, it was a good and original idea to set it on Mars and this worked really well.
I believe the reason it failed for Disney was that not enough people knew or cared about the story to make this a big hit. The original story was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912. There have been various book and comics about the character but it is still a very little known story. Maybe if it was an original story more people would have seen it, as I believe some would have been put off by a story they thought they needed some background knowledge of, but this isn’t the case. It's a good film and no prior knowledge of the story is needed.
This film is definitely worth seeing, especially if you are an Action/Sci-Fi fan as it is one of the good ones.

8 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Dominic West as Sab Than


1 comment:

  1. Good review Mike. Kitsch could have definitely been a little bit more charismatic but the flick still works due to amazing special effects and some really fun and exciting action. Sad thing is that this flick was made for $250 million and won’t make any of it back.