The story based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic novel, set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). John Carter is a war-weary, former military captain who's inexplicably transported to Mars and reluctantly becomes embroiled in an epic conflict. It's a world on the brink or collapse, and Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realises the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.
Based on the ‘Barsoom’ series by Edgar Rice Burroughs published in 1912, ‘John Carter’ is a science-fiction wonder that mashup doesn’t even begin to describe it.
‘John Carter’ (Taylor Kitsch) is a Confederate soldier who lives in Arizona during the Civil War, with a penchant for mortal combat and nothing to lose. When he finds himself suddenly and mysteriously transported to Barsoom – which is another name for Mars – this disillusioned war hero experiences another tailspin. This is culture shock at its finest: first you’re on Earth and now you’re out of this world? What’s going on?
This is the first live-action feature film of director Andrew Stanton, the Pixar staple who directed ‘WALL-E’. Fantasy is not an unusual choice for Stanton, but choosing ‘John Carter’ to be his first foray into live-action film making is. ‘John Carter’ is high on ambition but low on spectacle. The story of John Carter as a conduit ‘savior’ among opposing warrior savages has been done many times before: Charlton Heston in ‘Planet of the Apes’ or even Sam Worthington in director James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’. The CGI-designed aliens, spacecrafts, costumes, and sets may even remind you of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’, but then again, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ stories came first – these could have been inspired by HIS works.
With sci-fi becoming more mainstream and not just for the nerds anymore, ‘John Carter’ comes off as a simple tale of a man who serves a Messianic purpose. It’s great that the hero Mars ever needs happens to be alien to them, a human, who can leap tall mountains in a single bound. Yes, ‘John Carter’ is a wish-fulfillment movie; you’re a loser on Earth, come to Barsoom, you’ll be treated like a God!
As it is, the reported $250 million budget does translate on-screen and yet, value should have been given to a well-written plot. There is so much potential material between humans and aliens.