(M) WDHE DVD/BD
Academy Award-winning director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E) moves from celebrated animated films to live action with this pulpy space romp.
John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is the story of a Confederate soldier in 19th-century Virginia, transported to Mars (known as Barsoom) after touching a mysterious, glowing amulet.
Once on the red planet he discovers not only that the difference in gravity has increased his strength and agility but also that he is not alone. In fact Barsoom is populated by several warring tribes and species.
In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realises that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.
The film covers so much ground editorially in an attempt to cram in as much “sweeping action and adventure” that little things like character development have been overlooked. There is convoluted exposition, clunky, earnest dialogue and material that reminds one of everything from Avatar to Star Wars.
Its third act has some fairly hard core, relentless violence.
The use of CGI is stunning and seamless, with elaborate battle scenes and spectacular special effects and characters. John Carter is good to look at; just don’t expect to feel emotionally invested in what’s going on in front of you.