Max’s Review of John Carter, or rather…
250 million dollars!?… Ha Ha!!!
You guys all remember the wildly successful and influential series of books, Barsoom, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. You remember the comic adaptation of these stories, John Carter, Warlord of Mars. And I’m sure you all remember the influence that these stories had on George Lucas and other well-known filmmakers. Uh huh, remember those… Okay, well… this is not that.
The 2012 film adaptation of John Carter is brought to us by Mickey Mouse and his pals. Now, this is directed by Andrew Stanton who has been involved in every one of the Pixar films in one way or another. If I’m not mistaken, this is his first live-action directing gig. I’d love to blame him for the unbelievable embarrassment that this movie is, and surely his lack of live-action experience has something to do with it, but it seems to me that Disney had so many hands in this that it’s mostly their fault. Holy crap! I didn’t even know that they made movies this incomprehensible and dull
Seeing as the plot is the major problem with this movie, I’d love nothing more than to explain it to you guys and demonstrate how incredibly nonsensical and convoluted it is… but I can’t. I simply can’t. I always joke around, “oh I had no idea what was going on in this movie”, but I can usually piece together little tidbits I picked up on to construct somewhat of what was going on. But I literally, LITERALLY! Had no goddamn idea what was going on through 90 percent of this movie. It’s not just me! This plot (or lack thereof) is so ass-backwards that Wikipedia has no plot description of this movie. Geez! It’s like the writers for this just compiled a giant list of completely unrelated John Carter characters, lingo, and plot lines, put it into the computer, pressed “shuffle” and that was their script for the movie. NOTHING MAKES ANY SENSE!!!
I can only assume that this series of books is good because, surprise, surprise, I haven’t read them. So what went wrong!? This is probably the most painful theater experience I’ve had in a very long time. I’ve never seen a movie that had so many CG monsters, explosions, and weird space design that was so boring. I’ll admit it, I fell asleep for a while. And it wasn’t like a comfortable, dreamy sleep. I was angry, my neck hurt, I was trying desperately to cushion myself on Kaz, I was half awake, it was awful. Just before the movie started, during the trailers, I got a call. My phone was on silent, so I ignored it. The movie was starting and I didn’t want to miss anything. But then, an hour later, the same person called again… you’ve never seen a guy jump up and speed out of a theater so fast in all you’re life! There are no words to describe how grateful I was for an excuse to get away from the movie. That’s how bad this is!!!
So besides the obtuse wrecking yard sculpture of duct-tape and Elmer’s glue that they try to pass off as a plot, what else is wrong with this movie. I absolutely detested the design of this movie. All of the costumes, sets, space ships and stuff of that nature seems very familiar. There’s nothing here that you haven’t seen used for better affect in something else. As for the creature design of the Martians, it’s so un-appealing that I had trouble looking at it. It’s not just that the character’s are ugly, because I personally love really weird and freaky creature design. It’s just that, here, the proportions are all strange and the faces just look distorted. It honestly seems like they just went with the first conceptual sketch that they had. And there’s a strange little dog creature that follows John Carter around that has to be one of the most vomit-inducing character designs I’ve ever seen. I’m sorry in advance, but the only way I can describe it is that it’s like a short, fat, wrinkly penis with big googly eyes and teeth. And then, for no reason, it also runs really fast… WHAT!?!
Oh god, I can’t believe I’m still talking about this movie. But believe it or not, I still have not illustrated the levels of awful that this piece of crap reaches. Ha, it seems laughable to even try to describe the “characters” of this movie, because it’s hard to even distinguish one character from another. As far as I’m concerned, this movie starred a bland, fleshy lump of limbs and faces that delivered all of the dialogue as if it was reading off of a teleprompter. Taylor Kitsch stars as John Carter. Now, I’ve not seen this guy in much, but based soley on this, I hope to god he never gets trapped in a paper bag, because there’s no hope of him ever acting his way out of it. His only mood in this whole thing is just somewhat stern and completely unphased by anything that’s happening around him. I never once believed that he was from the old west. He just seemed like an asshole pretty boy. As for the actors portraying aliens; Willem Dafoe, ThomasHadenChurch, Samantha Morton; makes no difference. You still don’t care about them at all. And, the biggest tragedy! Mark Strong plays the villain in this! Now, anyone who’s read my other reviews knows how much I love Mark Strong. But even he couldn’t save this. He’s kinda like a space-monk in this. He’s all-knowing, he’s been around for forever probably… and yet, you have no idea why he’s evil. The film tap-dances around telling exactly what his motivation is every chance it gets. There’s literally a part in the movie where John Carter says something to the effect of “You’re gonna destroy the Earth!?” and Mark Strong’s just kinda like “No… not really”. And that’s it! Conversation’s over! The only thing that he does that’s really evil is he gives a crazy blue weapon to some douche bag who conveniently decides to be evil at the beginning of the movie. Then he just stands in the background, shape-shifting the whole time. Man… hey, notice how I didn’t mention the female lead in the movie. That’s because I didn’t notice her in the movie at all until I read the Wikipedia page afterwards. I guess it makes sense… I was a little confused as to why there was always a shapely piece of drift-wood with make-up standing next to John Carter throughout the whole movie. I guess it was Lynn Collins though… whatever…
God, no amount of ranting will describe how all over the place and just plain dull, dull, DULL this movie is. My brain feels like chewed bubble gum after this. I will say that there are maybe 5-7 minutes at the beginning of the movie where we see John Carter just as a cowboy on Earth that I kinda liked. Maybe it was just because Bryan Cranston was overshadowing all of the suck. But this movie is two and a half goddamn hours long! Five minutes of okayness gets totally lost in the shuffle. This kinda reminds me of Tron: Legacy in that it was a big property movie that Disney really hyped up, but ended up being very lack-luster. Geez, but Tron: Legacy is goddamn Casablancacompared to this mess. To quote 1984, you want a vision of John Carter? Just imagine a boot stamping on a human face… forever.
I want so bad to give this movie an F. But while I didn’t care for the design, the special effects were technically handled alright. Like, they blended them well with the live actors. But c’mon, that’s the only compliment I can really give it. I was so happy to hear that this movie cost 250 million dollars to make, and that it totally bombed last weekend. Mickey Mouse is firing a few dozen executives with the back of his hand right now.
Max’s Rating- D- - (it’s so close to an F that I had to add an extra minus)