John Carter (2012) starring Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church directed by Andrew Stanton Movie Review

John Carter (2012)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Taylor Kitsch in John Carter (2012)

Carter's Helium High

Following the Civil War John Carter has stopped fighting for anyone else other than himself as he has turned to prospecting. But the army won't have it and after fleeing a Fort where he was taken under duress John ends up on a cave in the hills when a run in with a mysterious man leaves him knocked out on the floor. When he comes to he is in the middle of a desert and as he discovers is on Mars where he has the ability to jump really high and far. But Mars is at war as the various Alien factions are doing battle and eventually John is going to have to choose whose side he is on.

So many reviews I have read have mentioned that "John Carter" is based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs story and many of those reviews mention how the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs have inspired many moves over the years from "Star Wars" to "Avatar". Nothing wrong with that except for the fact if I hadn't read that I wouldn't know and I would imagine that there are many general movie fans out there who wouldn't know that either. And when you watch "John Carter" without that knowledge you find yourself with what appears to be a derivative movie with aspects of "Star Wars", "Avatar" and even what feels like a bit of "He-man" thrown in for good measure. Personally it didn't suck but it failed to grip me as much as it has others due to what ends up feeling familiar.

Lynn Collins in John Carter (2012)

Now part of my issue with "John Carter" is that the pacing is off, seriously off and it is so slow going that I would imagine that most people will check their watch at least once to find out how much more they have to sit through. Don't get me wrong as there are times when it is exciting be it the epic visual presentation or a moment of action, but like their journey along the river it is a slow plod.

On the subject of the visual there is no denying that this is an epic and frankly impressive looking movie with some effective use of CGI to create the impossible. But I am old school and the use of CGI to create scale doesn't impress me like it does others. It is the same with the look of the actors as whilst Taylor Kitsch has a toned frame he actually looks ill at times and he certainly doesn't deliver much character. It is the same with the eye catching Lynn Collins who is visually stunning but her character is totally uninteresting.

What this all boils down to is that "John Carter" isn't the terrible movie that many thought it would be whilst it was being made. But whilst visually impressive it is slow and often uninteresting which frankly makes it laborious for those like me who wants more than an impressive looking movie.