Posted March 12, 2012 by Earl Maghirang in Movies/TV

MOVIE REVIEW: Walt Disney’s John Carter

Walt Disney Studio’s opens the summer block buster season with the release of their latest film “John Carter” which stars Taylor Kitsch as the unlikely hero who accidentally gets transported to the planet Mars. In this strange new planet, he meets allies and enemies alike such as the beautiful Dejah Thoris and the powerful and comedic Tars Tarkas and his daughter Sola to the thuggish Sab Than played by Dominic West. (watch the John Carter Movie Trailer)

The new movie which comes out today was in a way a hybrid. It brings together the good parts of the old world science fiction (thanks to the creative and brilliant mind of writer Edgar Rice Burroughs) together with the visual effects mastery of this generation which produces an entirely different creature of sorts.

Before we go any further let us thank the casting agency that gave Kitsch and company the roles that they landed. The casting for the characters was quite excellent, that I can totally dig. Lynn Collins who plays the “Princess of Mars” Dejah Thoris was a good pick not just because of her looks but also because she really did give a very different princess. She channels a completely different princess, a princess that can kick butt with a sword and can give the brightest minds and scientists a run for their money.

Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas was also the single best decision for director Andrew Stanton and company. While we never really get to see Dafoe on screen, we get to see his mannerisms and his voice projected on the imposing and very noble “Jeddak” or leader of the Barsoom natives known as “Tharks”.

Taylor Kitsch has graduated from being Gambit from “Wolverine Origins” and has also become a new kind of action hero. And while there were some scenes in the film which showed him trying a bit too hard, the end result for his “enthusiasm” is well, generally good.

While Dafoe kicked ass in the humor department and Kitsch did good in terms of moving the story forward, we actually have to thank Collins’ take on Martian princess Dejah Thoris for the drama and other character moments that brings out the strong bits of actors. While the love story around the middle part of the movie was a bit cheesy for my taste, it easily gets washed away by the action scenes and the gorgeous effects that was used for the film.

Thanks to the IMAX technology, there were really some scenes in IMAX 3D that really made you feel like you were part of the crowd cheering for John Carter especially after his daring rescue of Dejah during the film’s first half.

Effects wise, there’s nothing to gripe about JC. I’m positive that the film will appeal not just for you science fiction kids but also for the moms and dads. It’s a nice film with tons of unexplored potential and still ripe for the picking. As I’ve written in my other review for John Carter, the film is daring enough to show us something new while at the same time providing us something that we’ve all seen before. I dare say this but John Carter has the true makings of being an heir apparent to the Star Wars film franchise. We just don’t have our Darth Vader yet but we certainly have our Luke Skywalker in Kitsch’s John Carter.


Special thanks to Walt Disney Studios Philippines.

Earl Maghirang