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3/29/12

JOHN CARTER - REVIEW


Cowboys & Aliens may still be fresh in our minds but that doesn't mean we should NOT have another movie with cowboys and aliens, right?

...right?

Come on, you know those two things kick ass and you know you want it... again.

That's how John Carter begins: like a moody old western complete with saloons, the cavalry, feather-wearing native Americans and Sergio Leone-style swagger.

"Beans: beans is the first item..."

"My name is Carter. John Carter."

Cut to:

MAGIC!

Shazam!

WHOOSH!

Mars.

Fair enough. I mean there's no need for Disney to screw around with horses and sarsaparilla and shit when you can just beam to Mars!

So anyway, Mars looks great. It's like CGI heaven but the effects are actually awesome. Like Avatar awesome. You've got these kinda gross-looking green guys with four arms, their even grosser-looking babies, some bulldog-type fast-as-shit mutt and loads more goodies. The Mars humans, on the other hand, are pants. They wear those earthy tones and speak like they grew up in Detroit: the kind of thing you'd expect from a TV movie or those Hercules Kevin Sorbo series. They're led by some douche bag with a bad haircut who looks just like one of the good guys (confusing) and a princess straight out of Prince Of Persia (less annoying but more rubbish somehow). It's a mixed bag.

Our hero is a good pick and although he gives up on his badass cowboy persona to make way for a more generic "Teen Conan" type of vibe, he still manages to kick some ass and remain cool enough that you don't want to slap him around. Oh sure jumping around like Super Mario isn't too dignified and being called Virginia for ages doesn't help but, like Flash Gordon, he's a regular Joe from shitty-old Earth and watching his highly unlikely space adventures is pretty fun I must admit.

That the film flopped is hardly surprising seeing as silly-sounding, very old stories with extravagant budgets, unexciting casts and messy marketing usually do just that. But it's ok, let The Hunger Games devour the dough. We all know which film we'll remember 10 years from now.

- "Hey remember that movie where all these kids have to fight to the death and stuff?"
- "Battle Royale?"
- "No, the other one."
- "I don't understand."
- "It doesn't matter. It came out about the same time as John Carter I think."
- "John Carter lol"
- "John Carter lol I know, right?"

*they make out*

Ok, so that was me and my clone talking movies and making out in the crazy-ass future of 2022. Probably on Mars. Take that however you like...

Joking aside, John Carter is indeed a fun movie. Oh it's flawed and parts of it are frankly not very good but on the whole this isn't a rushed poo Disney took and tried to polish quickly in time for 2012. A lot of time, effort and money went into this blockbuster and it shows. It's good to see the studio take risks once in a while. Maybe had the film been released this Summer rather than sodding March more people would have been willing to leave their brains at the door but I guess with The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers out this Summer it looks like John Carter was doomed either way.

It's a bit of a flawed mess but a thoroughly enjoyable one. There's a lot to like about John Carter and there's a genuine sense of adventure to it. It's essentially a Flash Gordon, Cowboys & Aliens and Prince Of Persia orgy of familiarity but it's not without its own charm.

Check it out.

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