While hardly justifying its mammoth reported production budget of $250 million, this long gestating flick has just enough scale and spectacle to warrant a multiplex trip. Andrew Stanton has directed brilliance under the watchful eye of Pixar before (Finding Nemo, Wall-E), but his work here is nowhere near that calibre of storytelling. Whether we see a sequel or not is anyone's guess, but the box-office will need to be huge.
In a story that predates Avatar by about a century, our titular hero John Carter (a loincloth wearing Kitsch) is mysteriously transferred to another planet where he must do battle with an evil alien race to help another alien race. In a Helen of Troy style sprinkling of plot, the goodies have a beautiful young alien (Collins) who if she marries the bad boy leader of another clan (West), will stop all the warring and whatnot. And no one likes warring.
Viewed purely as a spectacle, John Carter is a sporadically stunning opus that begs to be seen on the big screen. Broken down in terms of character, it's sorely lacking - especially when you look at Stanton's hugely impressive back catalogue. This is a vast and depthful world, with many characters that even the bloated running time here can't really accommodate. At the top of the pile is Carter himself, who's played by new Hollywood golden boy Taylor Kistch. Every once and a while the folks in tinsel town decide someone will be the next big thing and this year it's his turn.
Kitsch is fine in the lead role, but he looks far too much like a surfer to be pulling off a part so overtly alpha; have we learnt nothing from Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven? The starry supporting cast are mostly in motion capture mode, and although they've animated over the likes of Willem Dafoe - you can still see full(ish) facial movements - it still doesn't rival the more heartfelt turns of say Andy Serkis.
Science fiction geeks will lap this up, and when the battles kick off there's plenty to enjoy. Just not the intergalactic Gladiator it could've been.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 17:18 | Tuesday 10th July 2012 | DVD review
This movie came out a year to early or at Christmas, bad marketing on behalf of Disney. I have watch this movie twice and enjoyed it very much. this is one of these movies we will be seening on the Telly at Chrimtams time for years to come...Posted 14:17 | Wed 18th Jul 2012
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