Surprises at the cinema will happen from time to time but how often are they negative? I know that at one time or another every movie going person has seen a trailer or commercial and thought that it looked awesome. You talk about it with your friends and family, you make plans to go on opening weekend and you spend you hard earned money because the advertisements that you saw seemed to promise a film that would be right up your alley. Then you go and what happens, all the best parts were in the trailer, the acting was bad and the movie turned out to be a huge disappointment. SURPRISE!! Yes it has happened to us all. (I apologize to those of you for whom I have just brought back bad memories of Star Wars Episodes 1-3) It is a real drag when that happens and it is almost guaranteed to happen at least a couple of times a year. But, when it happens the opposite way it is a wonderful experience. Sometimes you go to see a show because your friends are going and you have nothing else to do or maybe the website that you write movie reviews for is expecting you to see it because it is going to be a blockbuster film that many people are going to want to read reviews for. *Ahem* Then you go and much to your most pleasant surprise you love and enjoy the film way more than you would have ever guessed. How awesome is it when that happens? It is an amazing feeling and one that I got to experience today when I went see John Carter.
John Carter (Kitsch) is a bit of a renegade ex Civil War soldier that while hiding in a cave in Virginia from Native American Indians, discovers a medallion that gets him transplanted to Mars. He quickly finds himself in the middle of another type of Civil War. Discovered and taken prisoner by a clan of twelve foot tall barbarians with four arms, Carter begins to earn the trust of these beings. Watching a battle between two airships, Carter leaps to the rescue of the Helium Princess Dejah Thoris (Collins) who is in strong need of a savior for her and her people. Now John must decide between staying to help the Princess and the people of Helium or going back to his native planet of Earth.
I am going to tell you right now that the plot synopsis that you have just read does next to nothing to convey the true complexity of the story or excitement and brilliance of this film. The truth is in order for me to give you a fully detailed outline we would both be sitting in front of this screen for a very long time. No, I have chosen to be brief and hope that you will take the time to go and see John Carter for yourself because it truly is an amazing film. This story has it all, from action and adventure to comedy and romance. No stone is left unturned as you follow the lead character on his journey of a strange new world that is largely more advanced than the one he has known. Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins give strong and convincing performances in the lead roles and backed up by such strong talents as Willem Dafoe and Thomas Haden Church, there is little to complain about performance wise. Fine actors aside, the scene stealer in this movie is an animated dog like creature that provides just the amount of heart the story needs. PARENTS CONSIDERING BRING CHILDREN: Yes, this is a Walt Disney film but as I have said before it is rated PG-13 for a reason. With the exception of some violent battle scenes this film probably could have got by with a PG rating. Even in the most violent of scenes any blood you see is blue making it clear that this is a fantasy. In my opinion I think this movie would be enjoyable for any child 10 years or older.
Overall I thought John Carter was a great fun ride of a film and I am really very glad that I spent the few extra dollars to see it in 3-D on an IMAX screen. I highly recommend that you do the same but either way the movie is great. If you liked what you saw in the trailers you will most likely love what you see on the screen.