Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe
Judging by the ad campaign for this movie, it looked to be one of the worst movies ever along with a box-office failure. While it was certainly not a box office success, only gaining about $72 million domestically, it also is certainly not the worst movies of all time (I know that doesn’t sound like an emphatic endorsement of this film but just wait. Also, the movie actually did pretty well overseas). I will by no means praise this movie for doing anything special, although the special effects work seemed fairly well done in this film, or even being very good. Quite frankly, this film is, at it’s core, a silly film. And it’s not necessarily a bad type of silly. It’s silly enough to be entertaining, yet not silly enough to be a complete disaster (I think I just reached my “silly” quota for this post, although I do enjoy the silliness).
The film is about a man who has no cause after losing his wife and child in a fire. All he wants is gold. Somehow, it’s not really important how, this man ends up getting transported to a planet called Barsoom, or Mars to us human folk. In the beginning this man, John Carter, just wants to find his way back to earth. But, there’s a war on Barsoom between Helium and Zodanga, in which he quickly becomes involved… pretty much all because of a princess.
This all sounds ridiculous, and it is, but sometimes you just have to embrace the silliness and enjoy an entertainingly creative movie. Andrew Stanton is the director. It’s his first live-action film after being responsible for the likes of possibly the two best Pixar films, Finding Nemo and Wall-E. He does a decent job with it, not quite as good as Brad Bird did with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but Stanton did a serviceable job directing this movie, and you can really tell he had a vested interest in the subject matter.
So, while this movie may not be a new great sic-fi franchise, it’s certainly a step above the likes of Episode I and II of the newer Star Wars movies… I guess that’s not saying very much of it, but I did enjoy this movie enough to give it a mild recommendation. There could be many worse movies to choose from on a boring night.
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5