Too much plot for fun

2012-03-12 00:00

FIRST-rate special effects in a film are no longer enough. A convoluted plot is one of the flaws of the sci-fi adventure John Carter, and opting for 3D didn’t seem to make much of a difference to the overall effect of the action.

Based on the 100-year-old novel by Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter is a story about how the title character (Taylor Kitsch), a cowboy-come-captain from Virginia, is transported through space to Mars (called “Barsoom” by those who live there). Differences in gravity give Carter enhanced strength and agility on the Red Planet, which is in the midst of civil war.

Carter’s initial encounter is with four-armed, green-skinned creatures called Tharks, led by Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe). In the midst of mayhem between the Tharks and the more human-like tribe of Helium, Carter rescues Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). She’s been pledged to marry a war thug (Dominic West) by her father (Ciaran Hinds) in order to keep the peace between the two tribes, but she resists and asks Carter to join her people in their resistance.

In return she offers him the secret of how to return to Earth. But all is not as it seems, and entrenched in the convoluted plot are immortal creatures, power struggles within the tribes and all sorts of wordy dialogue.

The film has its moments, but when the action seizes and two people have to talk to each other, the pace fizzles out and has to start up again. Each corner of the film is an opportunity to educate the audience about the rules in each Martian subculture or value system. It’s all a bit too complex in the light of the bigger picture and the length is felt in places. The 3D doesn’t enhance the action (which is terrific nonetheless), while the casts seem to have been selected as eye-candy rather than Oscar hopefuls.

It’s clear the film is aiming at a big target, and for that it should be commended, but the bull’s eye seems to have eluded the film-makers, Disney. **

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.