John Carter

John Carter

The story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter, who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris. In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands. 2.0 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
John Carter

Omniscore:

Certificate 12A
Genre Adventure, Family, Science Fiction
Director Andrew Stanton
Cast Bryan Cranston, Ciarán Hinds, Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, James Purefoy Taylor Kitsch
Studio Walk Disney UK
Release Date March 2012
Running Time 132 mins
 

The story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter, who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris. In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Dan Jolin

There is barely a moment of John Carter that fails to visually impress. Technically, it’s Avatar’s equal. And Stanton scores highly where you may have imagined he’d most obviously falter: with the humans ... Where the film stumbles, though, is with its action. It’s hard to pinpoint a standout set-piece, and every battle feels rushed. Unlike a Cameron or Peter Jackson, Stanton neglects to ramp it up and deliver the beats, as if he’s afraid too much smash-bang will spoil the story.

05/03/2012

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

A huge cast, soaring digital architecture, creatures both adorable and fearsome, lines of dialogue made even more ridiculous by being uttered in earnest. The silliness — much of which is clearly intentional — is blended with some genuine grandeur. The Pixar touch is evident in the precision of the visual detail and in the wit and energy of Michael Giacchino’s score, but the quality control that has been exercised over this project also has a curiously undermining effect. The movie eagerly sells itself as semitrashy, almost-campy fun, but it is so lavish and fussy that you can’t help thinking that it wants to be taken seriously, and therefore you laugh at, rather than with, its mock sublimity.

08/03/2012

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Scotland on Sunday

Siobhan Synnot

Has the spectacle and spirit of a Saturday matinee movie but not its fleetness or fun.

06/03/2012

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

Now, maybe there are legions of multiplex-goers to whom the words ‘Sab Than, Prince of Zodanga’ sound like a surefire bet – but it’s unlikely. And this is merely the tip of a hefty iceberg: chuck in some four-armed Tharks, some eight-legged Thoats and Mark Strong as an evil spirit and you’ve got an unholy mess.

08/03/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

Never quite gets its cosmic-soap-opera act together, but it plays interestingly with flashbacks to the horrors visited on Carter’s family in the Civil War, which spur him on to fighting an entire army, singlehanded. In another mega-scene, Carter takes on two great white apes the size of buses in the gladiatorial arena. You can’t help but think that Burroughs, who wrote this when he was a pencil-sharpener salesman, would be proud.

09/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

Burroughs’s tale was clearly ahead of its time: alas, now time has left the story behind. Watching the sparring spaceships, the big battle sequences and Carter’s gladiatorial fights in front of roaring crowds evokes dozens of films we’ve seen before: most obviously, Star Wars, Avatar, even Cowboys & Aliens. It doesn’t have a vision or a voice of its own, but it does have the likeable Carter and the appealing Kitsch.

11/03/2012

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Total Film

Jonathan Crocker

If history has taught filmmakers one lesson, it’s that if you’re going to make a movie about Mars, it had better star Arnold Schwarzenegger and a lady with three boobies. Otherwise? Forget it. So, maybe the smartest thing WALL.E director Andrew Stanton has ever done was chopping the words “Of Mars” off the title of his first liveaction movie.

02/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

Perhaps uniquely, John Carter is a film that is necessarily bad: in doing justice to Burroughs’s creation, Stanton has made a movie that is a technical marvel, but is also armrest-clawingly hammy and painfully dated. This is a vision of the future that belongs in the past.

08/03/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

It’s too bad because there’s so much talent involved, and so much money and energy expended on bringing this to the big screen that its inability inspire more than an indifferent shrug makes it all the more disappointing.

08/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

For Pixar prodigy Andrew Stanton, directing and co-writing, it was obviously a labour of love. But for two hours, as with any problem birth, we get more labour than love.

08/03/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey

Sadly, John's problems are "John Carter's" problems, it's just that while our hero eventually figures out how to stop falling down, the movie never does. "John Carter" is the latest version of a long and rich Hollywood tradition: The big-budget (a reported $250-million-plus) fiasco. It's enough to make your jaw drop. That "John Carter" is so hit and miss, and miss, and miss is unfortunate on any number of levels. It starts with a great story — of love and politics, time travel and mystical pathways between planets — badly sucked dry.

09/03/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

Carter is played by an actor called Taylor Kitsch, presumably a reversion to that old medieval tradition of people being named after the trades they practice.

11/03/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

John Carter is one of those films that is so stultifying, so oppressive and so mysteriously and interminably long that I felt as if someone had dragged me into the kitchen of my local Greggs, and was baking my head into the centre of a colossal cube of white bread. As the film went on, the loaf around my skull grew to the size of a basketball, and then a coffee table, and then an Audi. The boring and badly acted sci-fi mashup continued inexorably, and the bready blandness pressed into my nostrils, eardrums, eye sockets and mouth. I wanted to cry for help, but in bread no one can hear you scream. Finally, I clawed the doughy, gooey, tasteless mass desperately away from my mouth and screeched: "Jesus, I'm watching a pointless film about a 1860s American civil war action hero on Mars, which the inhabitants apparently call Barsoom. I can't breathe."

08/03/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

The Independent on Sunday

One mountain-sized stumbling block is that the source material, Edgar Rice Burroughs's novel, has influenced so many films over the past century that there's nothing we haven't seen already ... every shot of the embarrassing, toga-party costumes had me murmuring a chorus of "Flash! Ah-aaah!" But the film John Carter resembles most is The Phantom Menace. Harsh words, I know. But if I were really harsh, I'd say The Phantom Menace wasn't quite as bad.

11/03/2012

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The Independent

Geoffrey MacNab

There isn't enough humour or levity to counter the often horribly portentous dialogue and Wagnerian pomp with which the film-makers tackle their material.

09/03/2012

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

More than £160 million was spent on the movie, and the Utah scenery and special effects are reasonably impressive. But a couple of quid should have been spent on making the plot halfway plausible — and at least a tiny bit comprehensible.

09/03/2012

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