15 June 2020

The Film Is A Saddening Bore

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John Carter is the greatest film that has ever been made ever and I will die to defend it. Not really. Obviously. It's a massive piece of shit, but it was fun to write a sentence that no sane human being had ever written before. What a novelty it felt to do something so original. I only hope that the makers of this fucking God awful movie get to experience that one day themselves. What is John Carter about though? From its title we can guess that it's likely about a person called John Carter, but what else? That's hardly an exciting sounding name, is it? Maybe it's about a bank manager that gasses himself to death in his own car after walking past a mirror and seeing how fucking dull his life is? Can you think of any other movie titles that are just the main characters name but that isn't part of a pre-existing franchise? Because off the top of my head, I can only think of Jerry Maguire, Donnie Brasco and Vera Drake. Is that what John Carter is about? Is he a sports agent that goes undercover with the mob to perform illegal back-alley abortions? Because if not I've just found a really easy new way of coming up with new stories? What about Carrie, Domino, and Alfie? In which case John Carter could be about a telekinetic bounty-hunter whose womanising ways end after a trip to an.. oh.. to an illegal back-alley abortionist. Hmm. Well, I can tell you right now that John Carter does not involve the subject of abortion in the slightest. Although if I could kill it with a coat-hanger and then wash it down the drain then I absolutely would. 

I can't tell if that was way too inappropriate a thing to say. It probably was. But if you felt any emotion because of that abortion joke then I can guarantee that I had more of an effect on you than this film had on me. John Carter is actually about a cowboy who gets beamed up to Mars where he develops special jumping powers and is forced to fight in a war between its two rival martian races. And yet despite that synopsis containing so many cool words that you could name a new brand of razor with them, it still manages to be intensely fucking dull. Watching this movie was like downtime in Guantanamo Bay in which your forced to listen to horrific sounds whilst having nothing more stimulating than a wall to stare at until you welcome the torture as a break from the monotony. Like Gandalf transitioning from Grey to White, I too lost track of time and space whilst watching this film and if it had gone on for much longer then I would have absolutely welcomed the thrill of being put at a 45-degree angle as my face was pissed on by an American soldier. But what could be so bad about it I hear you ask? Well, in one respect, I suppose you could argue that its biggest problem isn't its fault at all. The film is based on a book that came out over a hundred years ago by the respected Tarzan author, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Unfortunately, pop-culture has spent that last century raping and plundered this source material of its ideas like a horny Viking hoard of intellectual property thieves. Now that book has finally been adapted into its film, John Carter is left looking like a eunuch working in a brothel with a stitched up arse-hole. He really has very little left to offer. 

Flash Gordon, Avatar, and even Superman may owe a huge debt to that book, but in terms of it entering the world of cinema, I suppose that's just tough shit on John Carter. Perhaps the film that this reminded me the most of was Star Wars: Episode 2 though. Mars looks like Geonosis, everything looks like it was filmed on a green-screen, and John Carter actually kind of looks like Anakin. There's even a set-piece involving a giant arena fight in which the hero is forced to fight a horde of multi-limbed monsters. The similarities were coming so thick and fast that it was like being attacked by an Attack Of The Clones clone. George Lucas is pretty open about having stolen ideas from the book that this film is based on but because everybody else has too the film ends up feeling as cliched as fuck. John Carter features a white protagonist who receives some wise and mystical advice from the holy but simply native folk. How many other films can you name in which that happens? I just tried to work it out but so many titles came to mind that my head nearly exploded like in fucking Scanners. If there are native folk in this film and it takes place on Mars at least there might be some interesting looking aliens here though I hear you say. Nope. They're shit too. When I was about eight, my friend pulled a bogie out of his nose and began to eat it. “Why was that bogie a weird colour?” I asked him “Because I've been chewing on it for about a week”, came his response. He promptly then took the bogie out of his mouth and popped it back up his nose. I've literally felt sick ever since. The aliens in this movie look just like my friends deformed bogie if it had come to life to try to defend itself. 

For a character whose name alone is considered the sole selling point of the entire movie, you'd think that John Carter himself would be a lot more interesting. He's played by the actor Taylor Kitsch who you might remember as the guy that got bitten on the dick by a snake in Snakes On A Plane. He's also been in some other quite good things but you know.. being bitten on the dick by a snake is kind of like being the kid who shits his pants in school. It doesn't matter what else you go on to do you're always going to be the kid that shat his pants. Or in this case, was bitten on the dick by a snake. Anyway, he's not very good here with the actor spending most of the time being out-acted by his own nipples. He spends most of the movie wearing nothing more than a couple of belts across his body which makes a good portion of this story feel like a fever dream section from a Jodie Marsh biopic. In his defence, however, the writing of his character and pretty much everything else on screen is pretty shoddy considering they'd had a hundred fucking years to think about what they wanted to write. I know it's a trope of the genre to use new words and terms to describe the alien's names, species, and various tribes. But there were parts of this film that sounded as though the script had been written by a dyslexic on bath-salts as they slapped their dick against the keys to type. It does it all too without even the slightest sense of fun or camp to it. Occasionally it'll try a humorous moment but the jokes were so forced and painful that I'd have honestly preferred to be punched in the fucking face. 

Although we're told that John Carter takes place on Mars you could be forgiven for thinking that it all takes place on Uranus because of how full of shit the film is. Waheeeeeeey!!! Scientists can try to change how we pronounce that planet but it'll always sound like 'your anus' to me. I swear that I watched this film in its entirety and yet I still wouldn't be able to tell you what the fuck it was about. Why are there two tribes of aliens? Why are one of those tribes full of aliens and the other what look like actual humans? Were they actual humans or did they just look like humans? Why did the big bald and veiny Mark Strong look more like a massive dildo than he ever has before? Why does John Carter have special jumping powers when he's on Mars? Because he really does get good at doing it. In fact, John Carter can jump so high on Mars that even the most impressive of snakes would have trouble biting him on the dick when he's there. I'm sure the film must have explained it but by then my boredom had started to manifest itself physically and I'd started to bleed from the fucking ears. The original title of this movie was John Carter Of Mars which is clearly a lot fucking better than the one they ended up with. Of course, you can call a turd whatever you want and it's still going to stink of shit but at least people would have had a better idea of what the film was aboutApparently, the film Mars Needs Moms had done particularly badly the year before and the studio assumed it was because people didn't like Mars anymore. Although unless they think the appeal of The Martian was in seeing what Matt Damon could grow out of his shit I suspect they may have been wrong on that one. But even if Mars was the problem, is John Carter really the best title that they could come up with? Because I hate to brag but off the top of my head I've literally just come up with White Men Can Jump. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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