Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, and Mark Strong.
Director: Andrew Stanton
Writer: Andrew Stanton (screenplay), Mark Andrews (screenplay), Michael Chabon (screenplay), and Edgar Rice Burroughs (story “A Princess of Mars”).
Runtime: 132 minutes (2 hours and 12 minutes)
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: March 9th, 2012
Tags: Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs
By: John M Delia Jr.
Imagine yourself in the mind of author Edgar Rice Burroughs, being transported to another world where fantasy and adventure takes you to places like no other. Planets and far away lands fill you every thought with images of other races and beings that can only be in a place locked far away in a writers mind. Director Andrew Stanton does just that by transporting you to the world of John Carter using digital 3D animation as well as special effects and CGI.
This is a high adventure film that feels along the lines of “Raiders of the Lost Arc”, “Star Wars”, and “Avatar”. Lost in another world, John Carter must find a way back to earth (Jarsoom), or try to save the people of Barsoom (Mars) from its own form of a civil war. While trying to understand his newfound abilities and wondering what is happening to the people of Barsoom, he is challenged with making a decision that can affect his world and theirs.
John Carter played by Taylor Kitsch, is a Captain that served for the Confederate army during the Civil War and is searching to find his true purpose is life. After the loss of his wife and child, along with the distrust from the US Government, John does not have faith in anyone but himself. Dejah Thoris played by Lynn Collins, is the princess of the city of Helium and has entrusted herself to try and save her people from the Zodangian leader Sab Than (Dominic West). Lynn does a good job developing this role to become the desperate princess in need of a savior. She leads John Carter on an adventure that will help you understand the cultural meaning of these planetary people. There were strong supporting roles played by Samantha Morton (Sola), Willem Defoe (Tars Tarkas), Thomas Haden Church (Tal Hajus), Mark Strong (Matai Shang), Dominic West (Sab Than), as well as many others, that portrayed a believable presentation with an enjoyable performance.
Daryl Sabara plays Edgar Rice Burroughs, famous for writing the Tarzan Novels, and almost seventy others, along with “At The Earth’s Core”, and “A Princess of Mars”, from which this story is based, is portrayed as the nephew of John Carter who is entrusted to protect his fortune. Daryl does well in this role depicting the young Edgar, even though it was created as a tribute the author in the story.
The makeup and special effects team put together a spectacular masterpiece with creating the creatures, and inhabitants of ‘Barsoon’. The scene with the four-armed white apes was fantastic; the special effects with the 3D animation gave me the feeling I was in arena with John Carter and Sola (a member of the Thark tribe) fighting along their side. Each strike by the four-armed white gorillas was just breathtaking and gave me a good lasting impression about the film.
Final Grade: I give this a B+, for its excellent transportation into his world of fantasy.