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John Carter: Aliens and Action

By: Nick Rask
I must say this, when I sat down to see John Carter I was already biased. I’m a huge fan of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, who also wrote the Tarzan series. After seeing how Disney handled the Tarzan movie, and completely annihilated the movie, I was very skeptical about how this movie would be handled. Luckily, my reading adventures have not taking me to the John Carter series, and therefore, allowed me to be ignorant of whether or not the movie has stayed true to the books.

To give a quick synopsis of the movie follows the story of the title character, John Carter, who is a former cavalry Captain fighting for the Confederacy during the American Civil War.  Playing John Carter is Taylor Kitsch who is most well known for his time playing the brooding running back on Friday Night Lights John Riggins.  In this movie Kitsch gets to do what he does best, be brooding.  A good job of casting from director Andrew Stanton on picking his leading man, but moving right along!  After being chased into a cave by an angry band of Apaches he is magically transported onto Mars. When he arrives on Mars he encounters a race of green humanoids known as “Tharks,” A race that seems to lead a similar lifestyle to nomadic and warlike Native Americans. After being taken captive and later escaping he gets immersed in yet another Civil War between two warring kingdoms. Initially he wants no part, however, that does change when he falls in love with Dejah Thoris, a Princess of Helium who is played by Lynn Collins. (A woman worth fighting a war over.)  After that he becomes very active, siding with the kingdom of Helium (as he should).
As I’ve said before, I have never read any of the “Mars,” or “Barsoom” novels. I did however, read a lot of other works written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, among these the Tarzan Series and “The Land that Time Forgot.” And I was completely satisfied that Disney mirrored the storytelling of the movie with that of Edgar Rice Burroughs. His main style has been of creating devices that would create action driven sequences, and once that conflict is resolved, finds other scenarios to create action filled scenes. This is exactly how Disney approached this movie and left me satisfied with the action scenes. Another point of satisfaction comes from the graphics especially in regards to the creatures. After reading countless Tarzan stories, each with a variety of unique races and creatures, it was very enjoyable to see those descriptions of races and animals being portrayed on screen. All in all I would give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars and was a nice escape from the real world. I strongly recommend this movie to everyone who is a science fiction fan, as well as the common audience.
You can hear Nick Rask on Movie Hash every Monday from 4pm to 5pm right here on KMET Radio!

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