John Carter has been hit hard, right in the rear end, with piss poor advertising and some early reviews.
An expensive Disney movie, should have had a lot going for it, but nope. Nothing. Personally I have heard of John Carter before, vaguely, I knew it was sci-fi books from the yesteryears. But when I first saw a trailer for it, I only could think of how bad it looked. My first thought was that “What? They made a movie using all the left over prop parts from Prince of Persia. Who cares.”
Way too similar, the main peoples outfits, and both in deserts. Yeah, whatever. Some aliens too, cool.
Turns out Disney for whatever reason didn’t try too hard to market it, or get the facts right with their own movie. So they deserve it I guess. Next thing you know is Pixar will just assume everyone will go their movies if they make them (and they will).
“So you…don’t have access to the sands of time?” John Carter stammered, glancing towards his script.
The movie begins with….NOT JOHN CARTER (Taylor Kitsch). Instead he is dead. Sad times. He has left his rich later 1800s fortune to a nephew or something of his, Edgar (Daryl Sabara). He is told he only has access to his personal diary. In it he says all of his past stories he told him were true! But here is a re-telling of how it began…
Long ago, after the Civil war in the area not yet known as Arizona, Carter was just trying to get by, looking for gold. Well the local US army there wants to enlist him to help fight the Apache (Since he was a kick ass soldier/leader in the Civil War). John doesn’t want too, much to the general’s (Bryan Cranston) demands. He tries to escape multiple times, eventually does, and when they run into the Apache, he successfully escapes both groups into a cave. Some weird shit happens, and he is transported far and away to a different desert.
WHERE HE CAN FLY. Not really, but jump super awesomely far. Hells yeah. But then some aliens run into him. Behemoth ten foot tall monsters, with four arms. They are confused by him, but eventually capture him (not kill) to bring back to their base. The head mean guy Tal Hajus (Thomas Haden Church) wants to kill him so badly, but the king, Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) says no. Fuck that. Train that dude. He can jump like crazy.
Also there is other shit going on, between some kingdom called Helium and Zodanga. Helium is the good guys, war, the princess of Helium (Lynn Collins) has to marry someone in Zodanga, or else. She said nope. War stuff. Escapes, John saves her. Big war. Bald dude magic guy (Mark Strong) from Zodanga wants to fuck all the shit up.
Eventually a journey starts up to end the war, between the nations and the big alien things. With a dog like creature too. And the daughter of the alien king (Samantha Morton). Shit, details aren’t necessary. But a lot fighting ends up happening, some personal shit with John Carter’s nuclear family, and some other shenanigans (like you know, going back to Earth, obviously).
“Oh fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!” John Carter sighed, quite nonchalantly.
Holy shit, this movie was more than about a guy on Mars, fucking up some shit. There was some stuff about post civil war Arizona! Some history! Yeah!
I loved the beginning of the movie a lot. From his bumbling in Az, to his bumbling on Mars and having no idea what is going on. I’d say about halfway, I did lose a bit of the drive. I think the war between nations, and an alien nation could have been simplified a bit. Instead of just throwing out a bunch of people with weird names at me. I bet, I bet reading the book would have made it all simpler, which is not a good thing for a movie.
But in terms of action/adventure entertainment? I was definitely entertained. Well done. Unfortunately this monetary flop means not only probably no more John Carter movies, but that Disney will in general stay away from Mars forever.