John Carter Reviews

Our Review

A failure of epic proportions

Adam Bub, MovieFix
Disney has gambled an epic $250 million on John Carter, the live-action blockbuster adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels and spin-off Marvel comics. Most of it seems to be spent on CGI, because there's a dire lack of anything redeemable in this big, boring, and very expensive hot mess.

It's a huge shame, considering that the original tales have influenced sci-fi film classics from Star Wars to Superman and beyond. This film arrives too late to the party, coming across as the cinematic bastard child of Thor, Avatar, Star Wars and (gasp), even Cowboys and Aliens.

Carter (actor-model Taylor Kitsch) is an American Civil War veteran who miraculously winds up on Mars, known as Barsoom to its 15-metre-tall alien locals called 'Tharks' (try say that without smirking) and their king 'Jeddak' (not Jedi).

Our loin-clothed hero develops a talent for jumping really, really high in the air, making him the perfect candidate to protect princess-in-peril Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) from marrying the evil intergalactic invader Sab Than (The Wire's Dominic West, wasted as the ho-hum villain).

If the plot sounds ridiculous, it's because it is. Perhaps it makes more sense in print, but as a film it's dead on arrival thanks to non-existent character development, cheesier-than-cheddar dialogue, and banal action sequences.

It's no wonder Carter has been in development hell since its first proposed big-screen project in 1931. More than 80 years later, it's passed between names like Walt Disney, Tom Cruise, Robert Rodriguez and Iron Man's Jon Favreau.

Now, Wall-E and Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton must shoulder the blame for this over-bloated disaster. It's impossible to care about the protagonists, played by the helplessly wooden Kitsch and Collins. Not even a hint of sexual tension could sustain interest in this mind-numbingly long 132-minute slog.

The voice cast includes Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Ciaran Hinds and Samantha Morton, but you wouldn't know it. Maybe the budget could've been spent on more charismatic leads?

There are some positives. The epic desert scenery does look grand in 3D, and a few of the CGI creatures are cute in an ugly kind of way.

Plenty of people may disagree with this verdict. It will be interesting to see if audiences embrace John Carter.

Watch the trailer here

Your Reviews

What most people seem to be forgetting is that this film is a RE-MAKE, therefore it can't be compared to the other films that have come out recently. Each individual has a right to their own opinion on this film but before they make remarks about the amount of CGI or how similar it is to other films that have come out like Avatar, Cowboys and Aliens, etc. they should keep in mind that the original did infact inspire a few of those other films and they should look at it as a modern re-imagining of something that their parents or grand parents might have watched (depending on how old you are :P) Personally i did actually find the original quite interesting but i wasn't infact motivated to see the new version since i prefer things from that time period compared to now (modern films aren't really original) regardless if you watch this movie don't compare it modern films that are majoritively shallow (albeit some are quite entertaining) because you thought it would be something new, the fact is that it isn't, it wasn't made for you; it was made for those that ACTUALLY enjoyed the stories and want to see how it would look in this day and age. With that being said, i will go and watch this film because i know what i'm paying for
richard
richard
great Great movie none stop action, Poorly promoted did nit know about it until a few days before release. Had read all the books as a boy , Glad I made the effort to see it. I think I will see it more than once and buy the blu ray.
Lorraine
Lorraine
The rotten review is so wrong and really not fair, as some people may not go because of this. I really enjoyed everything about this movie,and would recomend people to see it for sure. It was fun to watch and extremely well made.So glad I saw it.
Frank
Frank
Absolutely enjoyed the movie! I can't understand why the bad press. Sometimes movie critics need to see & understand movies from a kid to young adults pespective. Well done Disney, I hope it proves the critics wrong.
Arch
Arch
Yes it may have some flaws but who cares when you are taken on a 2hour ride full of fun and escapism. I remember a time when going to the movies was fun, watch this and you'll remember those times. Grew up on the books and was so excited to see a big screen interpretation, a must see for the kid in all of us.
Rob
Rob
Many people don't like sci fi why they go and then give this type of movie a bad review really does escape me I have read the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs and loved them this was a wonderful attempt to bring it to the screen full marks for all concerned ignore the critics they don't know what they are talking about.
WAS AHH-MAZZING <3
WAS AHH-MAZZING <3
WATCHED WITH MY PARTNER AND WAS THE BEST LAUGH :)
Mitch
Mitch
This was my favorite movie I have ever seen! The story ties SO well together, the whole thing is absolutely brilliant! Idk wtf this critic is on about. It is an AWESOME movie! Im buying it as soon as it gets on DVD.
james
james
Have to say that Mr Bub doesn't like the same movies as me. Family totally enjoyed it, can't understand why all of the negative press. To be able to sit back and be transported to a new world was fantastic.
Frances G
Frances G
I saw this movie with my husband and two children and we loved it! The only qualm I have was that it was in 3D @ Imax. I would have liked to have seen it in 2D. The script was terrible admittedly but it moved @ at a great pace and kept us enthralled! I cannot recommend this movie too highly!
Sean
Sean
I was really looking forward to this movie but unfortunately it just didn't deliver. Visually parts of this movie were stunning but no amount of CGI can make up for extremely bad casting and an even worse script. The female lead who played Princess Whatshername was worse than Nathalie Portman in the Star Wars movies....are you beginnning to see how bad I mean!!
Butch
Butch
Clearly the reviewer didnt see the same movie as many of us did, (or wasnt paid enough). This movie is brilliant.
Quantumgirl
Quantumgirl
A long, laborious job to sit through this movie...special effects were great but the plot line was thin, predictable, stupid and insulting to the intelligence of this viewer at any rate. Scientifically inaccurate, which i can pardon as its more pure fantasy than a sci-fi, and a real drag to watch the hero leaping around saving the princess for two hours. One or two laughs at the beginning when the hero finds he can jump higher than on earth, and when that joke is exhausted, it seems the writers had run out of ideas for funny moments I wish i had taken the advice of the reviewer and not seen it. It was very starwarsy but without any good story line to back it up. It was a so-so rendition of the actual Edgar Rice story, but very Disney-fied. Kids might get a kick from it, but if there are any discerning adults or kids out there, take my advice and be wary of looking for anything meaty in this movie. Yawn!
KJ
KJ
OMG so bad i left half way through. The special effects are good and that's about all it has going for it...best thing about the movie was my Coke...
MIke
MIke
This movie rocks. Don't listen to the naysayers, give it a chance.
ziliga
ziliga
Really enjoyed the movie! Yes, the movie does have some flaws, but it did not deserve such a bad rating. The storytelling was enjoyable and so were the characters - a good outcome after 83 years in the making!
Sarah
Sarah
If you want to see this movie, may as well go and see Star Wars.
kirk
kirk
How did Mr Bub get his job? He looks like a hppay chappy but apparently he is living under a rock. Does he have any idea of the history behind this film? Edgar Rice Burroughs was genius and this interpretation is very excellent.
bd
bd
was great - did the reviewer watch the movie
Sean
Sean
Loved it. I loved the books too. The movie was very true to its origins - pulp science fiction, going from peril to peril to keep the young readers wanting to buy the next installment. Why the silly title though? Most people who would recognise the name would have died of old age long ago.....
CW
CW
Gee Adam you seem to expect a pizza to be a soufle. This is s good rolloicking adventure story with big effects and great vistas, just like it was written in the first place, it's meant to be good escapist fun, not a study in human relationships, and at that it performs pretty well, have more realisti expectations and you'll enjoy it too .
Tim W
Tim W
went and seen it with my son, and we both loved it .....
hup
hup
This film was great. I went 3 times to see it. good story, and not predictable. Kepted me wondering to the end of the movie. Lots of action, humour. The princess had lovely eyes. The reviewer is just 1 persons comments, (they mean zero).
CazzieJH
CazzieJH
This was a great show, had some funny bits and some good visual effects. I had no expectations to begin with and came out happy. Certainly would recommend
Bigdog
Bigdog
Fantastic! Recommend it
Rob M
Rob M
I don't know what planet that reviewer is from but me and some friends saw the movie and thought it was brilliant. Slightly different from the book as per my friend but still very enjoyable. Highly recommended.
Annabell
Annabell
Loved it...went to see with husband and kids, 11 & 14, and we all laughed out load! Don't know what the reviewer is on about, its not a classic but it's not meant to be. Great movie and not at all what I expected!
Butch
Butch
Again another reviewer caning a movie which many people I know have seen and enjoyed, even the reviews on this site reflect this. Edgar Rice Burroughs had vision, vision that even the likes of Steven Speilburgh and George Lucus must eccept the fact that they in part ripped of his vision. This movie transports you to another plant and time, its sci-fi, its special effects and vision are enough to go and see this movie. I though the character development was successful, this is not a Acadamy award winning script but the characters where full of life and interesting. This movie definately doesnt deserve a half star, my only opinion is that the main reviewer wasnt paid enough to review this movie OR as most just scan the movie and not take it all in. Its a must see especially in 3D.
A & A
A & A
This movie was fantastic. The graphics were well done but didn't steal the show. The story line was a rich and interesting take on the space/western genre. Powerful and loveable characters. Believable story mechanics when it comes to Carters abilities. Overall a must see :)
George
George
The guy from MovieFix is high, this is a great movie.
Teedee
Teedee
Loved the movie! The movie varies from the book but it is still worth a look. The funny parts were great and Disney did a good job not making it childish as I first thought. It is well presented although story is a bit lacking, everything else made up for it. I would recommend giving it a go just to see for yourselves as different people have different opinions.
Really enjoyed this movie! might even go see it again!
Grantley
Grantley
The Best movie at the cinema for years.... pure entertainment that isn't a pathetic try hard.
Lee
Lee
It rocked!
Leanne
Leanne
Definitely a good, solid movie. After reading the books there is the typical deviation from the storyline, but in certain areas (the way he gets to Barsoom in the first place) it's actually clearer the way they do it in the movie. I really enjoyed seeing the characters bought to life, all in all, a nice way to spend an evening. Nothing earth shatteringly great, but certainly not worth half a star.
losing it
losing it
it is easy to review something without thinking about how much effort and time such movies like the epic, John Carter
If you are into serious character development and rich sexual chemistry then yes this movie does fall short. But in an age of ever growing development of movie plots and characters it was nice to see an action packed and full of fun movie with a decent plot. Preposterous idea, this fun movie seen with a group of friend proves to make an awesome night out, lol. In all seriousness, with all the action (and jumping) I don’t believe anyone in the cinema would not have wanted to be in that world too! Great Pic!
Jess
Jess
It was 2 hours of my life I'll never get back. I have to agree with the reviewer in this case.
Jen
Jen
I was dreading seeing this movie But turned out to be sooo much fun! The start was a tad slow but after not too long I got lost in this film. The male lead is drool worthy and the story line while not strong is entertaining. the only advice I can say is to not take it to seriously, it’ no star wars but it is enjoyable.
sport
sport
terrible review i'm afraid. i thought the movie was quite good considering todays cinema market.
nathan
nathan
we dont need sci fi anymore..just tell us the truth on ufos!
josh
josh
as usual, a movie critic that has sat through too many cannes previews and now cant find it in himself to enjoy a lighthearted adventure. yes it is a simple movie but what do you expect, its disney! mind numbing 132 minutes? my what a boring life you lead adam.
Amelia Dearest
Amelia Dearest
my mates and i are the gamer sort. we loved it!! felt too short :) might have something to do with the audience.
Dolly
Dolly
The defn. of cute IS ugly but interesting....
Ims
Ims
not usually into scifi, but this one exceeded my expectations.
Kerron
Kerron
As both a comic book fan and a Star Wars one, I actually loved this movie. I find that trying to escape some content crossovers these days makes for utterly ridiculous and often boring movies.
Dana
Dana
i absolutely loved the movie!! i got a little lost towards the end but he was good to look at so it didnt worry me.
Rob M
Rob M
Don't know what planet that reviewer is from but me and some friends watched the movie and thought it was brilliant.
kerin
kerin
Guys i recomend this film, it's 2hrs of pissing myself laughing wishing i was there..
Helen
Helen
I saw this yesterday. I don't kow what movie the Reviewer went to see but I thought it had a good storyline, great characters, and tension building. There were some slow points but heck every good movie has. I definitely recommend it.
Jane
Jane
I really enjoyed ths movie as did my family. Worth a look
Andy
Andy
It is a fantastic movie, some say otherwise. The movie displayed a great story line which kept me going as well as the great graphics, the movie is a must watch!
Daniel
Daniel
Really looking forward to this. Hoping Disney and Andrew Stanton do it justice unlike the horrendous attempts of Edgar Rice Burroughs' material in the 90s with the Tarzan cartoon. This of course is poles apart from that thank goodness but a word of warning to the creators: do it right with no sacharrin Disney moments as much as I love Walt's classics. You have a lot of people wanting to see an attractive version of this story and if so, more to come. I first got into science fiction over thirty years ago via the influence of my Dad with the Barsoon (John Carter of Mars) series of stories. He rarely goes to movies nowadays and he admits if it is done properly, even he will line up for tickets.

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