John Carter film review – Home Entertainment
Written by Zen Terrelonge
(Rating: 12, 132 mins) Starring – Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe.
John Carter (Kitsch) is a war weary captain in the Confederate Army. He becomes disheartened in the fight against the native Americans and more interested in gold digging, which leads him to go AWOL.
Seemingly he’s been off the grid for sometime, until he gets discovered by his legion in a bar, in which he’s in the midst of creating chaos.
John swiftly demonstrates the grit and determination his character has, attempting to escape time and time again despite being outnumbered, which is both amusing and enlightening. Once he inevitably does escape, John discovers the treasure he has been seeking, but is bizarrely transported to the red planet of Barsoom – otherwise known as Mars – in the process.
It turns out the planet is rather hospitable, allowing John to breathe – which I’m sure is a comfort to him – and better still his strength and agility has been enhanced considerably, leading to some rather lovely visual displays of his newfound powers.
However, he isn’t alone for long and is accosted by the four-armed Thark alien race, and is taken captive by head of the clan, Tars Tarkas (Dafoe). It seems Tars has a particular interest in harnessing John for his own means of personal weaponry, a weapon that would provide strength to the tharks when confronted by the Barsoomian war between the battling martian races.
Indeed, John’s strength is put to good use when a battle takes place over thark territory, as he leaps (quite literally) to the rescue of the Princess of Helium (nothing to do with the gas), Dejah Thoris (Collins).
John’s act of heroism ties him into companionship with the royal, seeing that they embark on a journey across the planet in search of a way to end the tyranny of Helium’s enemies.
Although I foolishly had very high hopes, the film is quite dull and the 132 minute duration really felt more like 231 minutes, often dragging its heels, and while John’s abilities are desirable, they too become repetitive.
The film is slightly comparable to another Disney live-action film, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, a rugged and cocksure male lead, forced into allegiance with a stubborn princess on quest of utmost importance, though sadly for John Carter, its label mate was better and even that wasn’t mind-blowing.
John Carter is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.