DVD Review: John Carter

Review by Toby Lattimore

John Carter (12A)

Adapted from the early nineteen hundreds science-fiction classic novel by Edgar Rice Burrows, John Carter is an expansive tale of wonder and adventure. We follow the lead and film’s namesake, played by a gruff Taylor Kitsch, through a fantastical journey from the wild west to the surface of, a very unexpected, Mars.

The film moves at a quick pace, the effects stunning and dramatic. John Carter finds that he has superpowers on mars and at first struggles to control them. But he becomes embroiled in the civil war on the alien world and bounces to the aid of an exotic princess called Dejah Thoris and played by the alluring Lynn Collins, whose onscreen presence is at times hypnotic. Kitsch is a foil for her charm and successfully remains in character; a broken-hearted war hero, until he realises that he has fallen for the Martian princess. Together they battle the convincing Mark Strong as the power hungry Matai Shang with the aid of twelve foot aliens and the unrecognisable Samantha Morton and William Defoe who both put in excellent performances.

John Carter, the film, has had much press coverage before release, it’s Oscar award-winning Director Andrew Stanton of Toy Story fame, one of the reasons for this. But on release it had mixed reviews the expectations perhaps not lived up to. Yet John Carter should be approached with its origins in mind. It tells a story of how a world was perceived by a Victorian man, it grapples with a traditional love story and steers away from the commonly accepted hard science fiction which we have become used to in features such as Prometheus and Lockout. John Cart is an excellent family film and will no doubt grow in popularity in the coming years.