Feature

John Carter

A shirtless man lands on Mars.

Directed by Andrew Stanton
(PG-13)

**

John Carter is hit and miss—“and miss, and miss,” said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Disney’s $250 million epic distinguished itself in its first weekend as a landmark box-office flop, and the number of ways that the movie fails to exploit its promising, century-old source material is “enough to make your jaw drop.” Friday Night Lights heartthrob Taylor Kitsch plays Carter, a Civil War veteran who’s transported to Mars by some vague hocus-pocus only to find himself in the middle of a Martian war. Author Edgar Rice Burroughs squeezed a whole book series out of the concept, but director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) can’t locate the right tone, said Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com. The resulting spectacle might generously be labeled “wonderfully awful,” but it’s certainly “profoundly flawed.” Lynn Collins gives her all as a Martian princess, but her earnestness and “considerable skill” only make Kitsch’s lack of presence harder to ignore, said Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle. Though loaded with visual spectacle, John Carter offers “nothing to see” and “nothing to care about,” for 132 long minutes.

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