I never had high expectations from John Carter and that says something about the poor marketing surrounding the movie. Seems there was a strong force within Disney spreading that this film will not do well. They took this as far as announcing losses while the movie was and is at the moment on the theatres! What kind of a strategy is That to write a movie off and killing any chances of returning some of the investment by stabbing them on the back like this? If I was the director I would take this very personally! But what about the movie? Is it really as bad as they make it sound?
Well, yes and no! This is just another addition to a very long list of the movies that had good potentials but suffered from poor script and lacked enough sophistication to impress the audience both visually and intellectually! The film studios have the tendency to “dumb down” the movies so it will appeal to everyone! Or this is what they believe, however, if inception thought us anything, not only the general audience will and can keep up with more complex stories, they will truly enjoy it! So why do we still need to do this? Like in JC when he explains how was alive and not dead which brought the audience nothing but a sarcastic laughter! The concept and the core story is good, but the script, the dialogues and the overall story telling is so very poor and get you thinking whether this film had a director at all!?
The visuals overall are very impressive. A lot of nice VFX works by the London houses mainly double negative, nothing ground breaking or new but decent nonetheless. However, I noticed some disturbing issues with the fine details such a keying that was way off in cases possible due to the tight deadline perhaps! I hope! The colour grade of the Mars was very strange as well, too yellow for a red planet! Couldn’t they just grade the sand a little bit?! (Mars was taken of the title because Disney believed having this in the title will push away the audience not interested in Sci-Fi movies! Stupid! But even if that’s true should you lie to your audience and pretend otherwise?)
Andrew Stanton who comes from a very successful and creative background failed not to only to bring his favourite childhood comic book to life but to present himself as a director that had learned from this experience. He remained very arrogant and completely ignorant to the budget of the movie claiming he doesn’t care! As if that proves anything (Listen to Kermode’s review on BBC radio 5 and Director’s interview ) and cleared all the good memories I’ve had from Wall.E and Finding Nemo! I definitely won’t be on the line to watch his next movie and the same goes for next Disney’s release!
The movie wasn’t without its moments and good humour here and there and you leave the theatres with a disappointed smile on your face wishing they had done better with all these likeable characters and the charming story.