"There was potential here, but in the end, it all burns out."
John Carter is, simply put, a cheesy, melodramatic, overlong, cliched, unfunny, predictable, non-thrilling "adventure." Some aspects of the film seemed promising, but crashed and burned. There was potential here, but in the end, it all burns out.
The beginning does a decent job of making us wonder what's going to happen, what did happen, etc. In fact, the beginning was pretty entertaining, albeit predictable. But after John Carter gets to Mars, the whole story drags.
However, there's a lot of incredible visuals on Mars, and though that doesn't make up for stale characters and confusing plot, it helps a little. The CGI is incredible. Amazing. Absolutely gorgeous. If John Carter has one strength, it's the visual effects.
Also, the score by Michael Giacchino is another winner. Giacchino never disappoints.
Unfortunately, the more important aspects of the movie, like the plot and characters, are less polished. The plot (in addition to John Carter) focuses on the princess of Mars, who wants to avoid marrying a villainous man, but feels she must do it to save her people. Sound familiar? Almost any Disney Princess movie has the same or similar plot.
Also, the characters have no personality. Aside from John Carter and limited other characters, there is no one with a true personality. And even those who have one are usually generic types.
The action scenes are bland and predictable. The CGI and musical score make up for the awfulness, but a movie can't run on looks and sound alone. Also, there was a lot of potentially good space ship scenes that never truly happen.
HOWEVER, the last 10 minutes are amazing. There's an incredible twist, and that was easily my favorite part.
Andrew Stanton is a force to be reckoned with, but John Carter makes me rethink that. You saw my list earlier, the film is long, cheesy, predictable, cliched, none of the jokes are funny, etc. Aside from some visual thrills, the score, and a wonderful ending, John Carter fails.
I feel like if some of the violence and revealing garments were cut out, this movie could've been PG, as opposed to PG-13, which would allow it to become a family or kid's movie. This would've worked much better, because the movie is too silly to work as an adult/teen movie.
There will be at least one sequel to John Carter, but don't expect me to tell you how it is: I'm avoiding John Carter for life, and it's probably best if you did too.
Edit: Due to disappointing box office performance, there will not be a sequel after all.