John Carter of what?

…of Mars, apparently. I can’t seem to find it on the poster though. It seems producers decided to kill the name at the last second so that the Jersey Shore generation didn’t think it was all “sciency and stuff”.

Well done, producers. You managed to completely erase any evidence of the Mars setting by shortening the name. It’s not like the poster has the giant red planet in the background or anything. So here was my thought progression regarding this film:

  1. It’s based on a 100 year old story.   – “That’s cool”
  2. It’s large, epic, and complicated.      -“That’s ok, it can work”
  3. It’s a Disney movie.                             -“So is Toy Story, what’s your point?”
  4. Taylor Kitsch plays John Carter.        -“Oh…err…well…see the thing is…”
  5. It’s really boring!                                 -“….”

The positive side of my brain had no comeback to that last one. It just nodded in agreement.

Here’s the plot: John Carter is a man living on earth…he then lives on Mars for a bit.

Okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but with character names like Tars Tarkas, Tal Hajus, Matai Shang, Tardos Mors, Sab Than, Kantos Kan, Sola, Sarkoja, Vas Kor…and Council Member #3, it’s a little tedious to go over the specifics.

Let’s just say that this is the same story of every action sci-fi epic ever.

I know that’s an unfair criticism as the story is so old, but it still hurts the movie.


This film cost $250,000,000 to make. In other words that’s two hundred and fifty million dollars. In other simpler words thats a whale of a budget.

So far the film has made back $100 million in its opening weekend worldwide. As promising as this might sound to the uninitiated, don’t be fooled. In relation to it’s budget it’s a complete flop. The movie has to make a profit of at least 250 million in order to break even, meaning that it has to generate a total of 400 million dollars from now until it leaves the cinemas.

Ain’t gonna happen, no matter what you do.

In addition to the low turnout, the critics have kicked it to the curb.

It seems the only people who truly like the film are the fanboys. Given that the story is 100 years old, I guess that would make the fanboys at least 113.

Of course the fanboys reaction to the criticism has been something along the lines of:    

Well, I usually love a good ol’ “fuck the critics!”, but this time the critics are right.

The film is not completely terrible, but it is boring. It spends two hours setting up the world of “Barsoom” (aka Mars) to no avail. By the end I didn’t care who lived or who died because the characters are uninteresting and the acting is uninspired. It felt less like ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Avatar’ and more like ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’.

Mind you, I don’t care much for ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Avatar’ either, but ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ has a special place in hell.

However, this film has a unique perplexing aspect. It has a major problem with indistinguishability.

Let’s take a random sampling of alien characters and try to compare and contrast their individual personalities and characteristics:

Urgh, ok that might be a headache, but at least I can follow the main hero-versus-villain storyline.

Alright, so here is one of the main villains. His name is Sab Than.

Ok, easy to remember, Sab Than bad!

So I’m following the plot, and at one point John Carter is captured. “Oh, Noes!”. Now, Sab Than walks in and begins to interrogate him. “Seems like something a standard movie villain would do.”. Suddenly he begins to help John Carter escape. What? This is a turn of events to say the least. Sab Than tells John that he is working undercover in order to help him meet up with his love Deja Thoris. When Carter and Thoris are finally reunited Sab Than smiles, before leaving.

Wow, that was weird…I guess now we have one more good-guy: Sab Than.

Suddenly, there’s a knock on the door. Deja Thoris tells John Carter to leave, and he does. In walks…Sab Than. He is angry, mean, and looking for the escaped John Carter.


Is he schizo? What’s wrong with the guy? He just helped the man escape and now he’s on a bloodthirsty crusade to hunt him down?

The entire rest of the film he continues to switch back and forth between benign good-willed human being and satan incarnate. Ergo, I spend the next hour and fifteen minutes of the film in utter confusion.

Finally there is a last epic battle scene containing all the main characters – John Carter, Deja Thoris, Tars Tarkus, Sab Than and…

oh my Christ!

This guy:

His names Kantos Kan and he’s the guy I’ve been watching this whole time, thinking he was Sab Than.

What kind of mental casting agent would cast clones to play two entirely different characters who dress the same, have similar names, but never meet.

What a mindfuck!


Did you know David Schwimmer is in this film?





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