When an ex-soldier/treasure hunter mysteriously gets teleported to Mars, he finds himself embroiled in a war that could spill over onto Earth.
John Carter was advertised about as wrong as a movie studio could have. Not since The Sixth Sense have I seen worse commercials or trailers for a film. This is not good, as the promotional materials made this look horrible, which is not the case. John Carter is a very good film, bordering on great.
Honestly, I went in to this film expecting to hate or at the very least find it a minor afternoon distraction. Instead, I found myself marveling at some of the scenes and the emotional resonance of the story.
Still here? Nice. There is one scene in particular that I have to discuss. Leave now if you don’t want to know. Last chance . . .
Here goes . . .
About the middle of the film, there is a scene where John Carter seems to have given up on life. He keeps having flashbacks of his deceased wife and child. So he rushes headlong into a group of Tharks, which I took as him attempting to commit suicide. As he is slashing wildly through the group, the film is intercut with scenes of him finding his family’s bodies and burying them. It was a very powerful scene, action packed and heart wrenching. It was very masterfully put together and worked amazingly well.
John Carter is full of amazing scenery. The vistas of Barsoom (Mars) are amazing to behold on the big screen. The costume design is also very different than anything I have seen in films. While watching this film, the words epic and sweeping continuously sprang to mind. I was reminded of the epics of yesteryear.
I realize that this is a smaller review than I usually write. I really do not want to spoil the joy of seeing this film for someone for the first time. I must also say that I really enjoyed the hell out of this film. I can’t reiterate that enough. The bookends to the film were also well done, incorporating Edgar Rice Burroughs, the actual author of the John Carter of Mars books.
Just do yourself a favor and get out to see this. Don’t let it pass you by because of the poor marketing. This may be a big budget extravaganza type of film, but the passion of the film makers comes through on the screen. This is not blow-stuff-up like Transformers where you have to turn off your brain to enjoy it. While it isn’t a mind bender film, it makes logical steps towards the goals. Try to avoid spoilers, as well. Let yourself be immersed in this amazing, magical, beautiful world.
NOTE: I am thinking of writing more on this film is a separate post, more of an article discussing some of the finer points of this film. I realize this is not my best review, but as psyched as I was after watching this, I really do not want to spoil anything, just convince you to get to the cinema to see this. Apologies.
*** out of ****