JOHN CARTER (Theatrical Release USA 2012)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.3|5.0 Stars ììì

John Carter
capitalizes on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom book series about life on Mars. While the acting is well executed and the story’s theme is appealingly portrayed, the movie is a little thin in story content with some hard to follow story connections. The film lost money for Disney and sequels were cancelled.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


The film starts with the planet Mars in fairly clear view with the sun shining behind it. The narrator Tars (Willem Dafoe) says, “Mars, so you name it, and think that you know it. The Red Planet. No air, no life. But you do not know Mars, for its true name is Barsoom.” The camera runs down into the planet’s surface and starts to follow along the surface to a track in the dirt. Tars continues to narrate, “And it is not airless, nor is it dead. But it is dying. The city of Zodanga saw to that.” The camera starts to run to what looks like a city, but it turns out to be a moving city. Tars says, “Zodanga, the predator city.” The camera starts to run to the back of the moving city and then starts to travel upward to the deck of the city where there are landing areas for flying ships. Tars says, “Moving, devouring, draining Barsoom of energy and life.” A ship rises from its landing pad and flies over the camera. “Only the great city of Helium dared resist, stood strong…matched Zodanga airship for airship.” The camera changes to a white bridge alive with life. The bridge leads to a thin, cone-shaped building that becomes wider as it fans out toward the ground. Another ship flies by. “Holding fast for thousands of years…until one day the Ruler of Zodanga becomes cornered in a sand storm…and everything changed.” Then one ship fires at another ship and hits it. The Commander Sab Than of the injured ship, shaken by the blast, looks back and sees where the blast comes from, gives an order to the driver onboard, “I need clean lights!” and the movie is off and running.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Andrew Stanton for directing efforts. Thank you to Producers Lindsey Collins, Jim Morris, and Colin Wilson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), Tal Hajus (Thomas Hayden Church), Sola (Samantha Morton), and Tardos Mors (Ciaran Hinds).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The Disney name raises entertainment expectations, but fails to deliver impact.

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

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