Notable Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong
Have you ever been really, really sick with vomiting and a horrible sweaty fever? And then you go to sleep and you have some really fucked up dreams where things rarely make sense and outrageous things become monumentally awkward? Those fever dreams are exactly how I felt while watching "John Carter." The scale of the film desperately wants to be epic, but its goofy execution hinders it from ever feeling as such and its bombardment of fantasy/science fiction/historical elements is splattered in ways that rarely combine to paint the portrait that this film wanted to be. It's a great concept for a film franchise that seems about as disconnected from reality as its plot is. It's a fever dream of the worst kind plastered in film format and one that I wish would have stayed in developmental hell.
John Carter (Kitsch) is a Civil War veteran looking to find his way in the world. Lost and without a purpose, he ends up with a device purely by accident that transports him onto the planet Barsoon (or as we know it Mars). There he finds himself in the middle of yet another civil war between two of the planet's feuding clans with all kinds of indigenous creatures of the planet and other perils that lie in his way. Can the lost solider find his way back to Earth or will he choose to stay and fight for the rights of a people he has no connection to?
|She's supposed to be red skinned in the movie. Really she just kind of looks like she comes from New Jersey.|
|If the monsters didn't look so fake, they just might look real!|
Once one tires of the copious amounts of CGI and visual spectacle of the film, then the rocky foundations come out to haunt. Kitsch is poorly cast in the lead (he just can't pull off the war torn widower if he was one in real life) and the script is about as cluster fucked as it can get. The film has to move at the speed of sound to fit in all the necessary plot points it needs to even try to be a fulfilling movie experience... and in its race to jam as much shit as possible into its excruciatingly long two hour run time it forgets to make any of it matter. Who cares if John Carter gets home or not? Who cares if this war creates a world of slavery? Who cares about the romantic plot that is integral to this franchise? I certainly didn't and "John Carter" forces it down our throats in such a hasty fashion that we gag on it and hate it for not tasting like it should. For a film to start off a franchise its far too complicated and far too poorly structured to make it work. Even its "trick" ending seems to be both cliche and out of the blue at the same time.
|Believe it or not this thing becomes pivotal to the plot progression.|
I do have to admit that the unintentional hilarity of its poorly executed script and over the top forced action will make this a cult film someday just like "Dune" has seen itself become. It's one of those films that once we all get over just how bad it is with its unfocused attempts at being both a family friendly actioner and a serious themed franchise kicker, then we will learn to love it for being so bad. I foresee that in the future for this film and am looking forward to bitching about it in ten years time.
Written By Matt Reifschneider