John Carter

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(2012)

BBC2: PREMIERE Sunday 5 July, 6pm

Civil War cavalryman Taylor Kitsch is transported, magical Mysterious Island fashion, from Virginia to the angry red planet. Mars is not dead, but it is dying… much like Disney’s box-office dodo, a blur of nonsense from start to finish: “The moons will soon be rising!” Goofy green aliens and people with funny names and facepaint, shouting above boomy music and explosions while flying unfeasible contraptions – it might as well be James Cameron’s Avatar vs M. Night Shyamalan’s Airbender. But it could have been worse. It could have been the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer. Disney, still reeling from the losses of Mars Needs Moms, changed the title of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ source novel, A Princess of Mars (originally published in 1917). Few noticed, even fewer cared. Disney reacted to the tax-year write-off by giving George Lucas $4billion for the rights to Star Wars. The director here is Wall-E’s Andrew Stanton, who has fared less well with live-action pictures than his fellow Pixar alumnus Brad Bird. He went seamlessly from The Incredibles and Ratatouille to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, before blotting his book in Disney’s eyes with Tomorrowland. Panicked by high-risk sci-fi projects, Disney quickly pulled the plug on Tron 3. Like the Movieline critic quipped: “I had fun at John Carter. Just not $250 million worth of fun.” Let’s hear it for the keepers of the accounts. By the Schwartz, they’ll get there in the end.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 132min

Other Showings Time & Date
BBC2 Northern Ireland Sunday, 5 July at 6:00PM
BBC2 Scotland Sunday, 5 July at 6:00PM
BBC2 Wales Sunday, 5 July at 6:00PM