by puahz

Run-of-the-mill action thriller. Same sh**, different day

Watched it in 3D. Good effects but the action viewed in 2D is just as good I presume, only cheaper.

Found the story remarkably similar to Avatar, albeit less high tech. Hero from another world is catapulted into an alien world, falls in love with a native and fights their war.

I thought Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) played the lead well. He’s no brad pitt (Troy) but the parallels are striking (a fearless warrior, good improvisation in combat, etc). One key difference though: Archilles was fighting for immortality (glory). John Carter was a hopeless romantic fighting for justice and then love (for his martian mistress; well she completely human).

The wild names take some getting used to. On the red planet Barsoom, two humaniod races the Zodangas and Heliums are at civil war. The tarkas are a third tribe (6 foot tall with 4 hands) keeping themselves out of the conflict. Mysterious and powerful people (the tharn, presumably immortals) who can transfigure and teleport at will (with a special medallion). Their leader controls the civil conflict through his proxy Sab Than, a power-hungry but easily manipulated Zodanga general. For generations, the tharns, led by Shang their leader, have used the 9 ray (some energy source) to traversed the solar system controlling populations on different planets, perpetuating the endless cycle of conflict-resolution-regeneration-conflict. Turns out that they have also infiltrated Earth, which left John Carter no choice but maintain utmost secrecy to avoid detection and confrontation.

What I liked best

The battle scenes couldn’t match star wars. The romance was very similar to prince of persia – sands of time’, i.e. hollywood romance- masculine male saves damsel in distress, they hit off and ta da!

So yeah, i liked nothing in particular. But if anything, fast-paced and action-packed movie. Wont get bored watching it.

What I did not like 

Lack of plot development into the tharnian cause. Shang mentioned that manipulated civillizations to feed off their conflict. But why?

The 9-ray physics is a bit of a cough out. Teleportation with a medallion through utterance. Sounds like inter-planetary apparation with a potkey (a harry potter idea). Totally no originality.

What I truly feel sad about

Walt Disney Co said on Monday that it expected its sci-fi movie “John Carter” to lose about $200 million, it very likely shot the intergalactic box office bomb to the top of Hollywood’s biggest loser chart. (Reuters 21 march 2012)

All in all, 2.5 out of 5 stars.