When the movie begins with a narration, and that's not the voice of
Morgan Freeman getting things started, you might want to make a run for
it! I should have with John
Carter, a boring movie with a
that employed some 2nd rate narrator who isn't Morgan Freeman.
Taylor Kitsch stars as John Carter - a former Confederate soldier
living in Arizona and trying to hit it big by finding some gold in them
thar hills. Of course, everyone keeps using him in some way, shape or
form, when he just wants to live free.
A Union General, Powell (Bryan Cranston), has "drafted" Carter to help
in battling local American Indians, but the soldier has stumbled across
something more powerful than one of Ulysses S. Grant's top leaders.
Carter has found some strange device that transports him to Mars. Once
there, he appears to have super strength from the difference in
gravity, and finds himself caught in the middle of an extraterrestrial
civil war led by Sab Than (Dominic West), who has been given ultimate
power by some strange group led by Matai Shang (Mark Strong), and Sab
Than will achieve some sort of invincibility if he successfully marries
Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) - a princess who has been promised to Sab
Than by her father, King Tardos Mors (Ciaran Hinds).
Are you completely lost at this point?
Will John Carter save Dejah Thoris?
Can Taylor Kitsch stay awake throughout the movie?
The last time I saw a leading man this droopy eyed, I was watching
James Franco host the Oscars. Sadly, you will find yourself equally
drowsy as John Carter
muddles through over two hours of ho-hum special effects, non-existent
writing and meaningless plot twists.
Director/co-writer Andrew Stanton and co-writers Mark Andrews and
Michael Chabon (based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs story) want John
Carter to be epic, but it only
becomes an epic fail. Although all of the advertising is trying to make
us realize this story came out before Star
Wars, it feels like a lame Star
Wars rip off, as well as
borrowing from other better movies.
Then, John Carter
becomes weighed down by attempts to bring in too many smaller subplots.
If they had more depth to them, or something exciting to add, maybe it
would make the movie a more intellectually stimulating diversion, but
they feel tossed in without enough explanation.
Finally, Kitsch is the not ready for prime time star who doesn't bring
anything special to John Carter.
I know he is supposed to be some sort of tortured soul, but Kitsch
doesn't show any trace of being dynamic enough to carry the movie.
Where's the passion? Where's the action? Where's the emotion? I know he
has something more in him, but it is not on display in this movie.
If John Carter
was a date, you would be running off to the bathroom to call a friend,
so the friend would call you ten minutes later with an "emergency", so
you could get away.
Carter is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.