In greater detail, why I did not like this movie. Apparently this is warrented.
Let me start by saying the major thing that I missed in my review. I didn’t like this movie, not because I’m a snob (though I’ve been told I am) and I have higher/different standards than everybody else. Critics are not different than normal people, except they are normal people who write down their opinions with some regularity.
I was so vehemently against John Carter because to me, it felt lazy, and totally lacking direction and sense. I was so preoccupied by this, I didn’t mention it’s major failing. It does not only fail as a story, it also fails as an action movie. It wasn’t a fun romp. Tone is lost; take for example the scene where John starts fighting “blue-blooded” aliens. That started cool. Then there were inter-cuts of John burying his dead wife. That’s a buzzkill to the fun. It just didn’t work on that level, even as a puffy Disney spring fling.
I allege that the war being fought has no reason. This is unsolvable. The parties fight because the Therns want them to. They fight for no logical reason. There are NO natural resources; it’s Mars. The only resource seems to be solar power, and that’s renewable to the nth degree. It’s not a religious war… everybody seems to be on the same page there.
Compare to Star Wars and the Sith. They are, like the Therns, power hungry and initiates of carnage. But they are at least fighting for something. Power over people… and the resources they hold. They want to dominate. The forces in John Carter don’t even want control for control’s sake, they just want war so it happens. (If it was for dominance, I don’t see why Helium was nearly subjected to genocide.)
As for my complaints to John’s being an ex-Confederate. It’s not that this happens, so much as the fact that it serves nothing to the story. If her were switched to the other side, nothing would be lost from the story as is. John needs no reason, the audience needs one though for its relevance.
My poke at the Therns is because they are unmenacing. The danger of antagonists is hard to come by if they have no motive. If there is no reason for senseless violence, then stakes are lacking. And to those still telling me that the holes are there because there’s setup for a sequel, I posit this; movies need stakes. They are different then books. They move quicker, and the reason for events to be happening in the short time allotted. When a series of books is changed into an adaptation, the saving the plot twist for movie two stops movie one from wrapping up it’s conflict. Then there’s no merit for more.
I’m not dagging on this movie because I feel compelled to tear things down. I call it like I see it. What I saw when I watched John Carter was boring and largely without noticeable redeemable qualities. I have to analyze things because if I don’t then I can’t tell people why it’s not worth the time to be seen.