Negative speculation and prognostication has been brewing for months for Disney’s sci-fi actionerJohn Carter thanks to dismal tracking and rumors of bloated budgets, but Disney’s finally released their review embargo for the March 9 would-be blockbuster. So what’s the early buzz from thefirst critiques of Andrew Stanton‘s take on the Edgar Rice Burroughs saga, about a Civil War veteran named John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) who lands in the middle of a civil war on Mars?
Given the naysaying hype, the first batch of reviews are surprisingly… positive. Well, mixed positive, for the most part — critics agree on many of the film’s strengths, from the well-crafted CG world of Barsoom (that’s Mars, to us humans) to the spirited action sequences Pixar veteran Stanton has pulled off. (Look for Movieline’s John Carter review to post next week.)
“Some of the stuff that Stanton pulls off in John Carter is mind-blowing,” enthuses Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci. “There are a few sequences that feel simply classic, like we’ll be referring to them for years to come. There’s one scene, where John Carter stands alone (well, with Woola) against a rampaging army of nine foot tall, four armed Tharks, that is an all-timer.”
Speaking of those Tharks — the four-armed green Martian warriors that first enslave John Carter and force him to fight for them — Stanton’s CG background directing Finding Nemo and Wall-Eseems to have helped him create believable, dimensional characters with a combination of CG animation and performance capture.