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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: June 10: John Carter


June 10: John Carter

"Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior."

So, um, yeah. John Carter... about that. It's not as bad as everyone makes it be. I can understand why it bombed as big as it did and that's about all I understood. The film is very, very, very confusing and tries to stuff a whole lot of story into 132 minutes. Which is a shame, because if the writers simplified the story and let the action reign throughout, John Carter could be a hell of a better than it is. I am not lying, for the majority of the film, I sat back wondering what the f**k was going on, completely confused as to who was from where and who did what for something or what not. All i know is that the entire thing looks incredible and for that aspect alone I am a little disappointed I didn't see it in theaters. The special effects are amazing and the entire scale of the movie is massive. It's a grand fantastical adventure that doesn't hold back on the action sequences but seriously, what the hell is going on?

Brooding stares don't help, John. 

I am going to attempt to explain the story of the movie. John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a Civil War vet is transported to Mars by the force of some magical medallion. Upon his arrival, he discovers that he has superhuman strength and can leap long distances (similar to Superman in that he has "powers" in a foreign world). Carter is captured by Tars Tarkas (voiced by Willem Dafoe) and taken prisoner to their city. Carter escapes with a woman alien and a frickin' awesome dog monster creature speedy fiend. The group encounter Dejah, who turns out is the princess of Helium, one of the major cities on Barsoom (what they call Mars). Helium is at war with Zodanga, another city. The princess is arranged to be married to the leader of Zodanga, Sab Than (Dominic West) in a way to bring peace to the land. Carter's arrival throws a wrench into the plans of, well everything. Of course, he picks a side, wages war, and kicks a lot of ass in the process. This synopsis is with the help of the John Carter Wikipedia page, but I am still as confused as I was beforehand. 

Just stay calm and love the Woola.

John Carter is a marvel in its own way. It's heart is in the right place and its attempt to be something epic is worthwhile. It's just a shame, however, that the plot couldn't be as strong and as clear as the visuals and the action. I can honestly say, I truly, fully enjoyed most of the film even with its flaws. Taylor Kitsch does an okay job in the title role, but he still feels rather wooden and hollow in the role. He's much better than Sam Worthington (the other "it" actor) but they both still play the similar, shallow, and cliche characters that are nothing more than a symbolic hero that helps move the story forward. The action is badass, but the battles are few and far between. Each sequence is somewhat reminiscent of 300, with aliens and a lot of blue bloodshed instead of the normal crimson. In the end, ignore the bad reviews of the film and honestly give it a chance. John Carter is creative, it's pretty to look at, and it is on an absolutely massive scale (brought to by Pixar director, Andrew Stanton, who really wanted to make something special) that hinders and also strengthens the movie. 

The Good:
special effects on a completely new level that blend live action and CG wonderfully and continued incredible work from composer, Michael Giacchino
The Bad:
a story too confusing to even look for loop holes in, with way too much everything crammed into one movie
The Ugly:
realizing this film honestly could be a masterpiece if everything was firing on the same cylinders... and I kind of want a sequel

Oh f**k it, even if it's confusing, I really liked it... and I really do want to see a sequel.
Overall: 7.5/10


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