Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior.
We sat down and watched this movie on Blu-ray yesterday evening to nicely end our little excursion day. This is a good film but it could have been (much) better.
The film itself and its special effects are quite good. I would say that the special effects are very good. The airships are very cool looking. The design nicely captures the retro atmosphere of the book without looking silly. I think they made the green men too slim though. I have always pictured them as way more bulky and monstrous. I like Woola’s appearance although him moving around at “supersonic” speeds is a bit over the top.
However, why is it that every film-company/producer/director/whatever now thinks that he can take an old classic, slam on the name in the title, and then do what the hell he likes with the material? This film has borrowed the basic idea and the names from Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter book but almost nothing else. At most 10% of the story of the books is in the movie. The rest is pure invention and it does not improve the story. As a matter of fact it turns what was a good story into a standard unintelligent Hollywood faire. Been there, seen that, done that.
The examples are plentiful, the white apes the size of dinosaurs, the city of Zodanga moves around (what the f…), most of the plot as I said before is invented, the Therns have a completely different role etc. etc.
I especially dislike how they have made John Carter, the honorable gentleman from Virginia, into a fairly plain American guy who at first refuses to do the “right” thing. And what about these bloody wife and child flashbacks? That’s just disturbing.
None of this improves the movie. It got 6 stars, it could have gotten 9 or 10 if it had followed the books properly. It is Disney’s own fault that this movie was a disappointment at the box office, they screwed with classical material…again.