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‘John Carter’ a little uneven for me

March 12, 2012 - Pam Rodgers
This weekend I took in the new Disney’s live-action feature film “John Carter.” Overall, it was a pretty good movie to watch — lots of action and great special effects (I haven’t read the books so I really can’t say if it did a good job following the original story). However, there were definite lull points for me and it was confusing at times.

What I liked: I thought Taylor Kitsch did a good job in the lead. He was very believable as the Confederate cowboy fighter who accidentally found himself on a foreign planet (Mars or Basum as the natives referred to it). Again, I don’t know the whole backstory of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels so it’s hard to know for sure if he nailed the part according to the die hard fans.

The 3D worked for the most part. I have been a little skeptical of the the new technology questioning its need on certain films. It seemed to lend itself nicely to the sci-fi vehicles and creatures of Basum. At times it seemed unnecessary, but overall it added to the theatrical experience.

What I didn’t like: The movie seemed to jump around a bit. I’m sure reading the stories would have helped fill in some blanks. I can’t come up with a solid example of something that seemed to missing because the next part of the movie came flying at me and I forgot what I was questioning. By the end of the movie, I have a good sense of what happened but not always the why. Maybe a second watch will help solve this one, hopefully.

Also, the names were so weird and fairly close sounding that it was hard to figure out who they were talking about if the weren’t in the scene. I tried to look it up on imdb after the movie and that still didn’t help.

There were definite lull points to the storylines. I know that a movie can’t be all action. I don’t like movies that are beginning to end action. But the lulls seemed to last forever before getting to the next big development. I wasn’t quite sold on the motivations of the characters in the beginning so maybe the lulls didn’t last as long as I thought they did. I also was at a late night showing so my own exhaustion could have been a factor, too.

In my opinion, they could have spent a little more time explaining th story. The book will always have that advatage over the movies. H They sacrificed the story for the big action scenes and I think the overall point was lost a little in transition. I guess I’ll have to see what my uncle thinks since he is the Burroughs fan in the family.


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