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John Carter Movie Review

Grade C+: When I saw the first trailers for the John Carter movie I was a less than impressed. Something that I’d assumed would have the action of Indiana Jones and the visuals of Star Wars was instead being sold as an introspective journey to an alien world. Which was okay, I can dig it when a movie like John Carter plays with viewer expectations and instead delivers something different and unique than what has come before.

Unfortunately, though there are some bright moments in John Carter, for the most part there’s nothing different or unique in this movie than what’s come before.

In John Carter, the character of the same name (played by Taylor Kitsch) is magically whisked away to the planet Mars after he seeks shelter in a weird cave. On Mars, known as Barsoom by its inhabitants, John Carter meets the green, four armed Tharks, falls in love with princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins)  and does battle with the evil Matai Shang (Mark Strong) and minions who somehow feed off of chaos and have driven the planet Mars to ruin. It’s up to Carter to stop Shang before he completely destroys Mars and moves onto the Earth.

The bright moments of John Carter are the visuals, Mars and the CGI Tharks are particularly wonderful, and other various special effects too. Since Mars has less gravity than the Earth makes John Carter much stronger than anything else on Mars and when we see Carter jump and fight it’s awesome. That being said, the overall story of the movie is the real weakness of the film. What works are the bits of the original A Princess of Mars story that makes it into the movie, what doesn’t is just about everything else.

John Carter is currently available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download.