Former Confederate Civil War soldier, Captain John Carter has nothing left to fight for when he finds himself transported to a desert planet. Suddenly among a warrior tribe of four-armed aliens and a beautiful princess, Carter ends up in the middle of another war. But when faced with the chance of returning home to Earth, Carter may have found a cause worth fighting for in Princess Dejah and the people of Barsoom.
Taylor Kitsch stars as John Carter, the bitter and destitute man who cares for nothing but his found cave of gold. Kitsch has a young face and stoic countenance, perfect for the role of the ageless John Carter. He’s a believable fighter and a great straight man to plenty of humor. Princess Dejah is played by Lynn Collins, who has terrific chemistry with John Carter, and is just as strong and smart as her male counterparts (if not more). Mark Strong and Dominic West are fantastic villains, especially West as a surprisingly charming and attractive (though naïve) despot. And my favorite characters in the novel (Princess of Mars) as well as the film were the Tharns (the green-skinned, four-armed aliens), played by Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church and Samantha Morton. Though CGI, the characters still brought depth, emotion, and humor and successfully brought Burroughs’ characters to life.
Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic Princess of Mars (published in 1917), John Carter is a surprising and exceptional retelling. I recently read Princess of Mars in anticipation for the film. And though the film doesn’t delve into the depth of the Tharns’ stories as I would have liked, it still captures the spirit of the novel. And the natives of Barsoom get an impressive technology upgrade, and the science is updated for the awe-factor in the film.
I had my reservations after seeing the official trailers. But I was happy to see that the screen writers and director Andrew Stanton knew what they were doing, even if the marketing was off. This fan was captivated from beginning to end and loved every minute of this epic adventure. Full of fascinating characters, life-like aliens, and advanced technology – science fiction fans will certainly enjoy John Carter. But the action-packed thrills, suspense, drama, romance, and incredible story will appeal to a wide range of new fans – of all ages. It’s heart-warming, inspirational, and highly entertaining. Don’t miss this one.