Director: Andrew Stanton
Writer: Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, Michael Chabon
Based on: Edgar Rice Burroughs‘s novel A Princess of Mars
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Bryan Cranston, Thomas Haden Church
John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) calls his nephew Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara) to come to him, just before he dies. When Edgar arrives – just a bit too late – he gets John’s diary and starts to read about how John traveled to Mars many years ago with the help of a mysterious amulet. On Mars, he found himself captured by an alien tribe and then caught in a war that threatens the entire planet.
John Carter delivers exactly what you expect it to: brainless but extremely entertaining action with campy performances. Is it great film-making? No. But it’s great entertainment.
The dialogues were really cheesy and the performances completely campy. James Purefoy had me in stitches with his “kidnapping.” Dominic West and Mark Strong were brilliant in their evilness. Ciarán Hinds might have been coming on a tad too strong, but to make up for it both Samantha Morton and Lynn Collins actually take their roles seriously. Samantha Morton even succeeds (she always does) while Lynn Collins doesn’t have it in her. But then again, that way at least she at least doesn’t outshine Taylor Kitsch who can’t act, either.
Maybe Lynn Collins and Samantha Morton tried so hard because they actually got to be female characters with agency and goals that had nothing to do with the protagonist. In an action movie! I’m still amazed about that.
The visual effects left me unimpressed. Not because they were badly done – not at all. They just weren’t that beautiful in my opinion. Which made the 3D especially unnecessary. I did like the weapon Sab Than gets, though. And the temple-pyramid-computer-thingy looked really cool.
But in the end, I did enjoy myself. A whole damn lot.
Summarising: perfectly entertaining.