Disney doesn’t misfire very often; a bad movie that doesn’t make money is hard to find in Disney’s recent catalog. But John Carter comes close, perhaps because they’ve set the bar so incredibly high. It’s not a lousy effort, but given how much the studio is banking on it, the film is rather empty. And given how much bank went into making it (a reported $250 million, plus marketing costs), there’s a real chance this won’t make a strong profit. A lot of space epics hold up to repeat viewings, even if the dialogue is cheesy or the effects aren’t all that great, because the films are still fun rides. But John Carter isn’t very fun; it’s too long; and the lead character (played by Taylor Kitsch) is miscast. It’s very hard to overcome that last one. The effects are great, and the Mars-scape is believable, but those are just afterthoughts.
Director: Andrew Stanton
Producer: Jim Morris, Colin Wilson and Lindsey Collins
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Daryl Sabara, Polly Walker, Bryan Cranston, Thomas Church and Mark Strong