Who is John Carter? Or more importantly, what is “John Carter”?
Directed by Andrew Stanton, this cinematic retelling of the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ sci-fi novel A Princess of Mars, is an epic tale told across two worlds.
John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a Civil War veteran seems to always be escaping trouble. When he finds himself suddenly on Mars or Barsoom, he has narrowly evaded capture by Colonel Powell (Bryan Cranston).
After discovering he now has super-human strength (due to bone density and a change in gravity), he is captured by the Tharks and their Jeddak (leader) Tars Tarkas.
From there, Carter tries to get home, is dragged into the politics and wars of this strange planet, meets a princess (Lynn Collins) and, of course, saves the day…sort of.
Carter is sent back to Earth by one of the meddling Therns, Matai Shang (Mark Strong), must now find a way back to Barsoom.
Despite its over-the-top ad campaign and 3D release (save yourself a few bucks and see it in 2D) “John Carter” is surprisingly entertaining.
It has its flaws–an under developed central love story and a needlessly complex explanation of its universe–but all can be forgiven with a short(ish) running time and some fun cinema.
Taylor Kitsch as John Carter (you may recognize him as Gambit from “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) was a good choice for the mysterious John Carter. His boyish good looks with a bit of an edge make him a perfect action movie star.
And he’s backed up by a strong cast including Bryan Cranston, Mark Strong, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe and Thomas Haden Church. Not too bad for an out of season blockbuster.
“John Carter,” may not be the best action film of the year, but it’s fun, and with its epic setting and special effects, it’s worth seeing in theaters.
…just for fun: