Ever since I mentioned on Twitter that I saw “John Carter,” people have been asking me what I thought of it. Apparently, I’m one of the few people I know who read, loved, and most importantly, remembered the books, but I’m hoping that this film changes that a bit.
Without spoiling my official review of the movie — which went up on Digital Trends this morning — I’ll say that I enjoyed “John Carter” a lot more than I expected. This is both a good thing and the source of some frustration for me, as I’m not so sure the movie will do enough business to become the multi-film franchise Disney wants it to become.
When it comes to genre films, movie audiences like properties they’re already familiar with somehow, or work by actors and directors they know. Sadly, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels aren’t a very well-known commodity (as I discovered over the last few months), and the film doesn’t have a lot of well-known actors (to the general public, at least).
What it does have, however, is a great director in Andrew Stanton — the man who made “WALL-E” one of best films of 2008. It also has lots of fun, exciting action, and superb digital animation. But hey, you can read about all of that in my review, so…
Here’s an excerpt from my “John Carter” review:
One of the first things that stands out about John Carter is the impressive scope of the world conceived by Burroughs and brought to the screen by Stanton. There’s a very real sense of wonder throughout the film that’s hard to dismiss, and it keeps you eager to see what unique set pieces lie beyond the next mountain or around the corner. It’s the sort of vision that anyone who creates a fantastic world on paper hopes for when the project is adapted, and in many ways, John Carter is a great example of what can happen when two prolific imaginations are brought together.
That’s not to say that all the visual elements accomplish what they set out to do, though. Much like some of the other recent movies that were converted to 3-D after filming, the extra dimension adds very little to the final product. In fact, during a battle between Martian airships that occurs early in the film, the 3-D actually ends up being a bit distracting during some of the more effects-heavy sequences.
You can read the rest of my review over at Digital Trends.