I was very wishy-washy about going to John Carter. On the plus side was the eye candy of star Taylor Kitsch and he’s in little more than a lion cloth most of the movie. The initial trailers for the film though didn’t do much for me. It looked like a 300 and the remake of Clash of the Titans got together and had a child. Some of the newer trailers and commercials, that included the spaceships and more scenes of Mars made it look more interesting. Despite some really bad reviews, including a D by Entertainment Weekly, I went anyway.
I’m glad I did because was a pretty good popcorn movie.
I didn’t know much going in, other than this was a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs (titled Princess of Mars). While the beginning of the movie–getting some of Carter’s backstory before he got zipped away to Mars–was slow and reminded me of Disney’s dark days when they churned out clunkers like The Black Hole, the movie did pick up the pace and ended up telling a pretty good story. The quick summary is that Carter ends up in the middle of a Mars civil war and ends up helping the good guys. Given the gravitational difference between Earth and Mars, he’s somewhat of a superhero there.
The 3D is also enjoyable for this movie and done well. I didn’t feel like the dark scenes were too dark and nothing felt too gratuitous. Overall between the enjoyable plot, good effects and hot lead character, it was an enjoyable afternoon at the movies.
Oh, and this was one of the better Mars movies I’ve seen. Along with it’s review, EW looked at some of the Mars clunkers. I did like the one at the tops of their list, Total Recall, but also hated ones like Mars Attacks!, Mission to Mars, Red Planet and the positively awful Tom Cruise remake of War of the Worlds.