Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trailer: John Carter looks like a rip-off of the countless stories that ripped it off.

The good news is that this does indeed look pretty impressive on a visual level.  The action looks large-scale, but the relatively generic desert 'Mars' locale does make one wonder where that $300 million (!) went.  The bad news is that the narrative seems as generic as can be.  I know Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars franchise was a pioneering work of science fiction way back in 1912.  But there is a danger of adapting the 'one that started it all'.  Frankly, it looks less like an original work and more like a generic copy of the many many stories that have borrowed/homaged/stolen its template over the last century.  The ripped shirtless hero who can barely act finds himself in a lost world and just happens to be there to lead the fight against an oppressive rule and score with the token princess? Smells like Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes to me.  That may not be a fair judgment, but when you're spending $300 million on a new franchise with no stars that looks like dozens of other such pictures, saying 'Oh, but this is the one they all ripped off!' isn't going to cut it.  Despite the huge budget and Pixar pedigree, this looks like the most generic male-driven fantasy blockbuster possible, lacking any wit or character or concepts to make it stand out in any way.  Alas, Disney debuts this Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) picture in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on March 9th.  As always, we'll see.

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Jordan Montreuil said...

This reminds me of the Seinfeld is Unfunny trope:


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