I knew nothing about this movie before I went to see it, and it was only after I viewed it, that I was made aware that it was based on Edgar Rice Burroughs classic comic-book novel, "A Princess of Mars."
John Carter was what the Star Wars prequels should have been – well put together, with solid performances, writing, and direction from Andrew Stanton – and although the CGI was excellent, it was far from being the only redeeming feature of the film.
I have since watched the trailer, and it is not a good indication of what John Carter has to offer. Frankly, I wouldn’t have been enthused about the prospect of sitting through the film, if I had seen the trailer first. I also have a problem with the film title “John Carter,” and think a more evocative title would have worked better. It's a shame that people may decide not to view the film, based on the trailer, because I was impressed and I have added this film to my list of transporting stories, gratifying to revisit every time I wish to escape my world.
The scope of the work is impressive, and the dialogue is tight, managing to successfully meld poignant and amusing moments. It’s action-packed, and the world on Mars is believable, no doubt due to the script being based on Burroughs novel.
The transition between both worlds could have been smoother. Having no prior knowledge of the film, when the first Mars scene-change to Earth had continued for a protracted period of time, I was left wondering if the starting sequence on Mars was a prelude to another movie. This impression was quickly readjusted, when the action shifted back to Mars, and the story flowed well.
The surreal and the other-worldly has been done to death, and done recently; but, this film feels fresh and it’s supported by the aforementioned redeeming features of solid direction, acting and script. I recommend it, and think there’s room here for a sequel. But don’t take my word for it, go see it yourself.