A Civil War veteran named John Carter(Taylor Kitsch) gets lost on his way. On a mission to find a cave made of gold he finds an alien attacker, by accident Carter is then transported to Barsoom, to humans it’s called Mars. The life forms on Mars are being dominated by a warlord named Sab Than(Dominic West) who is under the control of an ancient race of aliens trying to dominate the universe, lead by Marai Shang(Mark Strong). Carter finds that on Mars his bone density mixed with the gravity allows him to jump like Superman and throw things farther than an NFL Quarterback. Carter allies himself with an eight foot tall, four armed, green aliens called Tarks. He becomes besties with Tars Tarkas(Willem Dafoe) in order to find a way home. Problem is he runs into the beautiful princess Dejah Thoris(Lynn Collins) who is trying to escape her forced marriage to Sab Than. What we get as the audience is a treat that is hard to explain, the scale and epicness can only be compared to Star Wars.
For those of you who don’t know John Carter of Mars here is a simple review. The story was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs back around the early 1900’s. Decades have gone by as studios tried to make this film happen. Disney put up a lot of cash to make this movie(Over $250 million), does it pay off? For me, all I can say is hell yes it does. The three books about John Carter is the spine that holds science fiction together. Without these stories one could say we would never have Start Wars or Avatar. So if the movie looks familiar it’s because other people ripped off John Carter, not the other way around.
The Director, Pixar’s Andrew Stanton gave everything he got. The film is fun and has something new happening every scene. The movie is frankly beautiful and the action is very strong. With the characters having blue blood on Barsoom it allowed them to have a lot more action in a PG-13 film than others. The best thing about the film is how much fun it has. In the age where The Dark Knight became a blockbuster. The problem is everything doesn’t have to be dark, in an adventure film you can have fun, be a little campy. It all works here.
The star Taylor Kitsch, I was never really sold on him before. I did not enjoy him as Gambit in the Wolverine movie. That might not be his fault thought since that film is terrible. From the second he’s on screen as John Carter I bought it. He works dialogue that really shouldn’t work at all, he even has small character moments that we don’t get in big time films like this. He really knocked it out of the park. One should also note that the beautiful Lynn Collins makes an amazing princess. Sure there are cliche pieces to her character, but she and Kitsch work so well on screen it just makes everything work.
The faults in this film are minor at best, to me this is the closest film we’ve ever had to the original Star Wars. The only problem this film has is the press behind it. Everyone knows the price tag and the horrible marketing, don’t let any of that blind you. This film is a lot of fun, it’s what science fiction should be. The action is dazzling and the 3D is not going to split your head open. The graphics and creature design alone should be a reason to see it. I’m rooting for this movie to do well because I want sequels. Still though if we never get them I feel lucky to have witnessed this film. It’s an epic. It should not be missed.