When I first saw previews for ‘John Carter’, I thought it was going to be a confusing mess with mediocre CGI, but boy was I wrong. There is definitely a lot going on in the film and if you get up to use the restroom it might be hard to catch up, otherwise the story unfolds slowly enough for you to not get lost. It is advertised, as it being the predecessor of ‘Starwars’ and ‘Avatar’ and it isn’t a false statement, seeing how this character has been around in comic books for 100 years. This mix of human, aliens, and other weird beings set in the planet Mars gives us an adventure that is sure to become a franchise and it will gain many followers.
The movie beings by giving us a background of the planet Mars and the situation there, then it jumps to New York where John Carter’s nephew comes to his rich uncle’s house and learns about the biggest adventure of his uncle’s life. John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) served as captain in the civil war, we are given very little background information on him, he seems to have shut himself out from the world, to not have many friends, doesn’t want to take part on anyone’s war and only wants to get rich.
By chance he is transported to Mars, where he meets aliens and human like beings and he goes back and forth between being a hero and a traitor to all. His main motivation unexpectedly comes from a princess, Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) who inspires him to fight for a cause against: Sab Than (Dominic West) and a stronger force they barely know exists, the Threns,Matai Shang (Mark Strong) in particular. With the help of the Thark, especially Sola (Samantha Morton) and Tars Tarkas (Williem Dafoe), John Carter gets involved in a story he could have never imagined.
There’s no great acting in this film, in fact the dialogue besides the different dialects and weird names of things is very plain and just enough to carry us from scene to scene. What makes the movie is the action and the images, most scenes are full of action and even when there’s not much happening the background and the surroundings are enough to keep you entertained. The 3D certainly enhances the film but I think it would fare probably just as well in a regular screen.
My favorite things: The Thark, Woola-Carter’s pet in Mars so adorably ugly, the strength in both sexes throughout the movie, although they do play the damsel in distress angle at times. Lastly, technology mixed in with archaic backgrounds of temples and desert. The love story was one of the things I disliked, simply because it was too predictable, at times it even felt pushed and it wasn’t convincing. Carter is almost cave man like, his strength overpowers logic; he acts before thinking in almost every scene and I don’t know if I can consider that ‘hero’ like qualities.
I dare to say that this is as of now one of the best movies 2012 has offered because of all the elements it combines. It has the ability to combine such different scenarios, eras, times, zones, beings, etc.; into one movie without being overly complicated and that is what a good entertaining action film is about. It does start to feel a little long towards the end, but it is able to end the chapter in a very decent and clean way without being overly dramatic. Most importantly it leaves us wondering what will come next.