DVD review: John Carter

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Taylor Kitsch in John Carter. It's not his fault the film flopped. Photo / Supplied
Taylor Kitsch in John Carter. It's not his fault the film flopped. Photo / Supplied

There are box office flops, and then there are box office flops.

But John Carter is something else - a movie Disney were hoping to turn into a franchise but instead bombed so badly boss Rich Ross resigned in the aftermath.

Viewed with the benefit of time and perspective, John Carter - an inter-planetary sci-fi action film - isn't as bad as the headlines would lead you to believe.

As you'd expect from Wall-E director Andrew Stanton, the film looks great with beautiful sweeping landscape shots of barren deserts combined with stunningly designed interiors. Action set pieces are swift and stirring, and some of the spaceship porn could have George Lucas stroking his beard in jealousy.

Quite why it bombed so badly is a bit of a mystery. Maybe it's the bland title. Perhaps it suffered poor early reviews and never recovered. Whatever the reason, there's certainly no fault with the film's lead Taylor Kitsch.

Like Battleship, another recent box office disaster, Kitsch is a surprisingly entertaining leading man, here playing Carter, a ripped former soldier who finds himself sweating it out on Mars as part of a war between inhabitants on the red planet.

You have to hope, given the right material, that Kitsch could be stretched even further. It's just a shame that John Carter packs in too much, and delivers too little.

Extras: Deleted scenes, commentaries, bloopers and several featurettes.
Stars: 2.5/5

- Herald online

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