Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Who the hell is John Carter anyway?

So Xognya and I went to see John Carter tonight. It hasn’t been getting very good reviews, so the theatre was far from full. But you know what? I fully enjoyed it! I had to think about it at first though, because I just kept thinking ‘sure, I like it, but how is this a movie that would appeal to anyone else?’…

Because it’s strange. It’s a sci-fi western comedy action buddy love story. Taken from a book that’s 100 years old. With, as X points out, a lame-ass title (the original story is called Princess Of Mars, the first of several novels based on Barsoom). How can it possibly get an audience?

Let me tell you what I really liked about it.

The cast: well-chosen. Taylor Kitsch (who?) was fun to watch as our titular hero, and really got into the role. Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris (the should-be titular hero, the Princess) was strong, Mark Strong was menacing in his weird-front-tooth kinda way, good voice work by Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas, but my favourite was James Purefoy as Kantos Kan — tiny little gestures and eyebrow-raises were enough to crack me up. He should be in everything.

The story: well, they did have to stray from the novel a bit, but not so much that I got upset with it. The weirdest thing to me was the ‘travelling city’ idea, something not alluded to in the original at all (that said, they might make an appearance in later books, I’ve never read too far into the series).

The CGI: okay, remember when District 9 came out and you forgot that the buggy aliens weren’t actually people? Same thing, I thought they were so well done that I could just forget about them. Which is nice.

It was set up well for a sequel. Which I don’t believe will ever happen. And really, I’m not too sad about that, how could they even have thought this one would have mass-market appeal? Ah well.

Are you one of the few who has seen it? What did you think?

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