Movie Synopsis: Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior.
My Review: John Carter is a sci-fi action film brought to life by director Andrew Stanton of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, based off the fiction works of author Edgar Rice Burrough’s "Tarzan series" and “Barsoom Series”, written approx. a century ago. Amazingly, Burrough’s influences are still evidenced today by the likes of George Lucas’s Star Wars and James Cameron’s Avatar, to mention just a few. As celebrated author Ray Bradbury once noted, "Burroughs is probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world." And thus, Disney Studio brings to you a film about a man transported to another world, figuratively, and literally!
The film centers around our main character, former Confederate Captain John Carter, and his pursuits to find gold, an attempt to placate his troubled past, as we get brief flashbacks of a young woman and child. Reconciling the man we see before us, and the young family of his past, we begin to understand his actions are plagued by a past tragic event and seem to be the catalyst to his solitary ventures into dangerous Indian territories looking for treasure. However, it is deep within one of these hidden caves, that John Carter encounters unusual markings engraved in stone, along with a luminous ceiling of gold. However it is heavily guarded by a hostile robed man, and the struggle between Carter and the guardian, becomes a fight of life and death, ultimately leaving Carter to awake in the harsh desert of another world- Barsoom to be exact -or Mars to us earthlings.
From there Carter finds himself in the middle of chaos and Civil War, ironically an element he had left behind in his own personal life. And it is here, John Carter’s adventures on Barsoom truly begin. From being held captive by a race of tall green creatures with four arms, to joining alliances with the Princess of Helium. The road for John Carter is long and treacherous as he tries to find a way back home to planet Earth.
With many unique characters and different factions warring, the beginning of the film became a little convoluted and confusing at times but ultimately found its pace as the story treaded on. For many of us not familiar with the novels, keep watching. The story does unfold slowly, but in a way that we found gave us the opportunity to become better acquainted with the characters. However, visually, the little ones will be pleased from the beginning. Barsoom was stunning on screen and extremely vivid in many shots. Our only complaint was that our screening was in 3D but completely lacked in its efforts. On this, we feel it’s best to save your money and opt for the 2D, as the 3D was not utilized.
How deliciously cute is he?
Overall though, we thought John Carter was a fantastic ride and enjoyed the film immensely. Our viewing group consisted of tweens and teens, and Noe seemed to enjoy the film more than I did, a vital key that Disney is right on track with their target audiences. Plus, we might add that the creature that looked like Jabba the Hut, but acted like our 80 lb lab was one of the cutest creatures that we have seen on screen in a long time – we sort of want one! We most definitely recommend John Carter and say bring the entire family. John Carter opens in theatres nationwide Friday, March 9.
Cast and Credit:
Directed by Andrew Stanton
Taylor Kitsch-John Carter
Lynn Collins-Dejah Thoris
William Defoe-Tars Tarkas
Mark Strong-Matai Shang