DVD Review: John Carter

John Carter, a tale of otherworldly mysticism, came out on DVD last week. Upon its release, the Disney movie received many an unfavourable review which undoubtedly had an adverse affect on its box office performance. Much like Mirror, Mirror, which I reviewed a few days ago, I believe a lot of these reviews to be misleading. Sure, John Carter isn’t one of the greats, but by God was it enjoyable!

Carter himself is played by the ever handsome Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, X-Men Origins) who is absolutely to die for. The fact that he is the main focal point for the entire 132 minutes is reason alone for any straight female to watch this movie. That he spends most of it topless is another bonus.

The film follows a very basic plot. Carter, a Civil War veteran, accidentally transports himself to Mars when he encounters and kills a strange man holding a strange device. After finding his feet, so to speak, he is captured by tall, eight limbed creatures and brought back to their home in chains. Before long, he encounters a princess in dire need of assistance and, gallant to a fault, he makes his escape to save her city and win her hand.

Based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter is an excellent visual spectacle full of great special effects and many a tense fight scene. It is pure escapist, adventure cinema at its best. Yes it has flaws, no it’s not perfect, but I really don’t think this film is deserving of its flop status. All too often, perfectly passable films are slated by pretentious, douchebag movie critics who elevate themselves above the average cinema-goer.

You probably won’t love this movie, but it definitely won’t bore you. Perfect for anyone looking to immerse themselves in another world and not think too much about it.

Leave a comment


  1. I think this movie would have been more successful if Disney had not been involved. Having watched it, although entertaining on some levels it was too cutsey for a science fiction piece. If it had been done more in the vein or Riddick or Blade Runner, a tad less dark, it would have been stronger. Taylor Kitcsh was good, but his performance in The Bang Bang Club was stronger, but then again that movie was better scripted and constructed. Over all John Carter could have done better if it had been in different hands.

  2. Cutsey is a good word there. I think you’re right, it could have been a lot better. The reviews made it seem horrific though, which was pretty misleading imo! It was a lot better than I thought it was going to be.

  3. It absolutely bored the male bits off of me. This film, while there are elements which work very well is a jumble of poor effort shoved together with a little bit of inteligence.
    I’d like to call it absolute tripe but let’s put it this way – when Starship Troopers came out it was pretty much a film that you could watch with brain switched to idle and enjoy. It was true for that film but for this one you’d have to make the effort to like it.

    • I think the fact that Taylor Kitsch spent most of the run time in topless glory may have served to alleviate my boredom somewhat… :p

      Being totally honest, if I had gone to see it in the cinema, this review would have been very different. I think I enjoyed it because I was so prepared for an absolute disaster… which I don’t actually think it was.

      BTW I almost wish I had male bits just to use that expression!! hah!

  4. I saw this at the theater with a mess of friends when it came out (yay for the cheap showing) and I actually really enjoyed it. Taylor Kitsch being in it/shirtless did not hurt the enjoyment factor. Like you said, is it great? No, but more fun than a bag of cats I say.

    Plus I love Mark Strong so there is that to boot. 🙂

    • Apart from all the films flaws (of which yes, there are many :/ ) I did genuinely enjoy Mark Strong! I don’t think I’ve ever seen him give a poor performance

  5. Someone gave me this film and I haven’t watched it yet because I’d heard it was bad but you make it sound more appealing so I may have a look. And like you said if Taylor Kitsch is topless in most of it that then I’m sure I will enjoy it for just that 🙂

    • Defo! But like I said, don’t expect it to be great… as long as you accept it for mindless entertainment you should be fine 🙂

  6. ztburian

     /  June 17, 2012

    I think part of the problem with the movie and its reception/box office take was that it became popular to drag it through the mud. It became more about the story of a movie with an enormous budget from one of the largest studios being a dud. I went to the theaters to see it with moderate expectations and I loved it – far better eye candy than Transformers or the like. Not great, as you say, but a lot of fun.

  7. I saw this with my 9 y.o. son and 11 y.o. friend. We all really liked it. I didn’t read the books, but found the story line with Edgar Rice Burroughs really interesting. Considering the context of when the story was originally written, it’s unfortunate that it got the bad reviews it did. Thanks for your review of it.

  8. I agree, this was a really enjoyable movie, I didn’t expect much but it was a lot of fun with strong performances! It’s such a shame it wasn’t very well promoted. It is more geared towards kids than adults, I’d have expected Disney to hype it up better than they did (as with Pirates of the Caribbean). I keep telling people to give it a chance, so maybe DVD sales will do better!

  9. I felt the movie was really good in some aspects, weak in others. I loved the fact that it reminded me of the old sci-fi stories I used to read as a kid. I was glad that I saw it. Great review.

    • Yes, it was a pity it got such terrible reviews really, despite the weak aspects you mentioned, it was actually very enjoyable!


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