Movie Review: John Carter – GO SEE IT!

JC_1-sht_Payoff_v19 This is not a typical movie review for me.  Not just a checkmark for a blog post in exchange for free movie tickets.  Pretty please read this. There are no spoilers so, read on!

You all know my love for Friday Night Lights, right?  I mean, LOVE.  If you don’t know my love, you should know I helped create a fan site, ran a podcast and even visited the set in Texas two years ago.  Like, serious fandom here.  I loved every single character from Friday Night Lights (Texas Forever!) but we all know I geeked out a little for Riggins.  I mean, who didn’t love 33?  For reals. 

Taylor Kitsch’s first movie since FNL is this John Carter (of Mars – which they dropped last minute).  I admit, I was REALLY SCARED for 33.  Can Riggs really pull off being a super hero in a sci-fi?  Am I really even interested in spending 90 minutes (it’s actually 2 hr 10 min) watching aliens on Mars? I’m not a fan of sci-fi.  The promos were super sketchy.  His voice was altered in some way and there were really weird things showing up on screen.  I just was terrified Kitsch’s career was over post-FNL.  In fact, I nearly canceled watching the screening because I just was so uninterested in seeing this movie.

But ya’ll.  Ya’ll!!!!!!

John Carter was AWESOME.

You know how you watched Avatar and it was a bunch of weird looking people but you really loved all the weird looking people and there was a heart and a cause to the storyline?  That’s the closest thing I can come to this story.  I also think of Sherlock Holmes where it’s a period piece and the writing is really SMART.  (PS Mark Strong from Sherlock Holmes is in the movie.)

First off, I need to say I know nothing about John Carter of Mars from the books.  I’m just an uninitiated movie- goer.  I went into this thinking it was going to be just an overblown action movie but it turns out this is truly a character story.  What they don’t highlight in previews is John Carter’s history on Earth and then the conclusion back on Earth and you see this troubled guy and watch him evolve and by the end of the movie it’s so satisfying you just want to fist pump and clap in glee. 

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Taylor Kitsch completely blew me away. The days of Riggins are simply a shadow of this actor that showed up in this movie.  He delivered lines with confidence, showed emotion like Riggs and had the physicality of a super hero.  It wasn’t cheesy at all. 

The other characters are amazing.  Did you know William Dafoe (Spiderman) was in this?  How about Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes)?  Or Thomas Haden Church? The female character played by Lynn Collins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) was strong and smart and she just knocked my socks off to tell you the truth.  I really thought she was just going to simply be eye-candy for the guys but they really played to her intellectual and physical side.  And I don’t just mean sexual physical side although she certainly was sexy in the movie and was only half-dressed for the whole thing. 

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They had this adorable dog-ish character that really lightened the mood.  In fact, there were several humorous moments but not enough to take away from the action.

What I love too is that aside from the violence it was a clean movie.  Only one swear word I remember and that was just to the dog so he would get out of harm’s way.  No sexually overt scenes other than that they were barely dressed but I honestly was not distracted by it.  The violence wasn’t even gruesome.

I’m telling you, this really blew me away.  I am so pumped for Kitsch and so glad his career is going to sky-rocket after this movie.  X-Men was pre-FNL, his movie The Bang, Bang Club certainly didn’t get the coverage he needed but this is going to be his turning point on the big screen.  He’s got Battleship with Rihanna, directed by Pete Berg (also directed FNL) next and then Savages with John Travolta after this.  He’s going to be a huge movie star.  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Do not let the sci-fi-ness of the promos scare you away.  I really think they’re playing to the wrong strengths of this movie.  If you like a movie with a good storyline, likable characters, a good romance and some serious action, you’re going to love this!  Here, I’ll even link you over to Fandango to go get your tickets!  Go!

 

Disclosure: Disney gave me two free tickets in exchange for the blog post. I loved it anyway though and all thoughts are my own. Clearly.