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Thursday, March 08, 2012

John Carter Movie Review


Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong

March 8, 2012

Last night I had the extreme privilege of going to the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Vancouver to watch a screening of Disney's John Carter (opening in Theatres on Friday).

The signage was everywhere. Posters of a scantily clad Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, X-Men Origins Wolverine, The Covenant) surrounding the concession area. An anxious wait in the line-up to get to our seats. Then the surprise announcement of the evening. They would be performing security checks and taking all cell phones prior to entering the screening. 

Waiting inside were two girls from 99.3 The Fox (a local rock radio station) with two prize packs to give away. Thor Diakow (Breakfast Television's Entertainment Guru) introduced the epic film in a relaxed but excited manner. 

The movie based on Edgar Rice Burroughs novel "The Princess of Mars". The movie starts with John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) looking for gold in a cave in 1886. After his service to the state of Virginia in the Civil War, he is 'requested' to assist Uncle Sam once more in the Territory of Arizona against the Apache. While evading the 7th Cavalry, he seems to slip away only to wake on a barren wasteland that he neither recognizes nor understands. He quickly realizes that he has the ability to jump higher and further than he ever could on earth. 

John recounts his journeys and experiences in a journal to his soul heir and nephew 'Ned'  (which we find to be Edgar Rice Burroughs).  John quickly finds himself in a predicament with the residents of Barsoom (Mars) and befriends Tars Tarkas (played by Willem Dafoe) and rescues Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) who is the Princess of Helium a city at grave risk by their enemies led by Sab Than (Dominic West). 

Extravagant ships, stunning costuming and amazing cinematography bring John Carter to life on the screen. Directed by Andrew Stanton, Disney does ERB fans great favor in delivering such a brilliant blockbuster. 

The added intrigue of Mark Strong's portrayal of Matai Shang, one of the 'mythic' Gods who are responsible for time travel and maintaining the ignorance of man towards science and progress. His multi-faceted character adds mystery and a clear cut enemy in the film. 

The duality of life on Earth (Jasoom) and on Mars (Barsoom) takes the movie goer deeper into the experience. The desire to preserve a way of life, love between father and daughter and finding your true self. 

Taylor is crisp, raw and brings John Carter to life in a big way. Lynn Collins (X-Men Wolverine) is absolutely beautiful in her costuming and shows that strong women are just as vulnerable as any other woman and still need to be rescued every once in a while. 

All in all, a great film by Disney and certainly a must see for any ERB fans. A trilogy of epic proportions is at hand. While some may say that there is a resemblance to modern films like 'Star Wars' and 'Avatar'. It is important to remember that Edgar Rice Burroughs came first and he is the reason that science fiction has advanced to where it is now.

Thank you ERB for Princess of Mars! "A warrior may change his steel but never his heart!"

RAVENBRAN RATING:   4 out of 5 Claws


  1. Good review. Kitsch could have definitely been a little bit more charismatic but the flick still works due to amazing special effects and some really fun and exciting action. Sad thing is that this flick was made for $250 million and won’t make any of it back. Check out mine when you can.

  2. Great review, wish i had been able to go now :(


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