March 12, 2012
Ah yes, the movie that took something like 40 years and a dozen scripts to finally make it to the big screen (not counting the SyFy version that aired a couple of years ago, in which John Carter was modemed to Mars from a 16 gig flash drive, or something awful like that. It starred Traci Lords as Dejah Thoris. I’m not even making this up. What people who are pre-bashing the current version are forgetting is that it’s already been as bad as it can get. Moving on.)
John Carter was good pulpy fun, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. I’m actually liking it more, the more I think of it, which is a pretty good trick. I even liked Professor Dejah Thoris, even if she had to be rescued like five times. Mostly I think this is because she figured out that if John was around, she could jump or fall from tall things with impunity because he would always notice and arrive to catch her. The dog-thing stole the show, as all good dog-things should. Unobtrusive effects. Choppy story, but at least they made the effort to attempt to tell a story. Very pretty.
But I do have some complaints.
- This needed some aggressive editing. Many scenes ran long, by a few seconds or minutes.
- Three prologues. THREE. And it didn’t need a single one of them. Writing tips: “In media res” is never wrong; kill your darlings (I loved the airship pirate battle, I really did, but it didn’t need to be there); and trust your audience (I frakking hate opening voice overs with a passion).
- The soundtrack was offensively mediocre. At worst, I should not notice a soundtrack at all. This one…gah. The movie needed something as edgy and otherworldly as the setting. Trent Reznor or Tangerine Dream, you know? That would have been awesome. Even the cheesetastic choral version of “Kashmir” from the trailer would have been better than what we got, some intrusive symphonic crap that sounded like it came from a 1960’s Disney movie. I know this is a Disney film, but Disney should have known better — they got Daft Punk for Tron Legacy after all.
Also, I have decided to have a crush on Kantos Kan, just because.