Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
9 March 2012updated 27 Sep 2015 4:01am

When film viewing is like having your head baked into a giant loaf of bread

Peter Bradshaw's review of John Carter must be a contender for the harshest criticism of 20

By Samira Shackle

In today’s Guardian, Peter Bradshaw offers his impressions of new sci-fi flick John Carter. Might just be me but I don’t think he liked it that much:

John Carter is one of those films that is so stultifying, so oppressive and so mysteriously and interminably long that I felt as if someone had dragged me into the kitchen of my local Greggs, and was baking my head into the centre of a colossal cube of white bread. As the film went on, the loaf around my skull grew to the size of a basketball, and then a coffee table, and then an Audi. The boring and badly acted sci-fi mashup continued inexorably, and the bready blandness pressed into my nostrils, eardrums, eye sockets and mouth. I wanted to cry for help, but in bread no one can hear you scream. Finally, I clawed the doughy, gooey, tasteless mass desperately away from my mouth and screeched: “Jesus, I’m watching a pointless film about a 1860s American civil war action hero on Mars, which the inhabitants apparently call Barsoom. I can’t breathe.”

Last month, my colleague Jonathan Derbyshire attended the inaugural Hatchet Job of the Year Awards, set up to award the “author of the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past twelve months”. One must wonder whether this has started a race towards the harshest commentary. In keeping with the trend, this week’s NS includes a comphrensive take down of A N Wilson’s Hitler: a short biography by Richard J Evans, including the line: “It’s hard to think why a publishing house that once had a respected history list agreed to produce this travesty of a biography”.

Have you seen a worse review than Bradshaw’s take on John Carter? Suggestions in the comment box below.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy