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John Carter (2012)

Lost in Our World. Found in Another.

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 132 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

For three main reasons John Carter is a massive gamble by Disney. They spent $250 million on this overblown sci-fi nonesense and didn’t have the foresight to recruit a star name, they put the movie in the hands of an (admittedly great) animation expert, and chose a hero with almost no relevence at all to today’s kids. The result is a pretty poor movie and what’s looking like a massive box office suicide.

The plot follows John Carter (Kitsch), an American Civil War veteran who finds an amulet and is magically transported to Mars. On the Red Planet he is captured but manages to escape before finding himself caught up in an alien war and falling in love with a Dejah Thoris (Collins), a beautiful princess.

Ignoring the money issue and the lack of star power (which in an ideal world shouldn’t be an issue), John Carter is let down by an overblown and over-complicated plot that’s damn tricky to keep track of and not really worth the effort. There are too many different factions who are too hard  to place and recognise as they are all dressed equally ridiculously and have pretty much the same motives. It’s all very dull too as it slowly grinds through an interminable two-hour-plus runtime.

Looks-wise, the money was worth it as everything does look very nice, including the dreamy Taylor Kitsch who I would invite round to save my planet, if you know what I mean. The special effects are awesome and, apart from the ludicrous costumes and liberally made-up men, Mars looks fantastic but much more is needed to keep the viewer’s attention.

It's Got: The looks

It Needs: A personality, an interesting story, decent acting and dialogue


Andrew Stanton’s disappointing sci-fi epic is all style and no substance. Teenage boys are better off playing a video game whereas female admirers of the male form should just flick through a guy’s underwear catalogue instead.