First mistake- assumed the whole movie took place on Mars. The trailers led me to believe so and was, as a result, surprised when our hero turned out to be a civil war veteran.
Didn’t expect to see so many (read 2) familiar faces either. I knew Taylor Kitsch was there, Lynn Collins was there, Mark Strong was there, but I had no idea that the kid from Spy Kids and the Mr.White from Breaking Bad would be there. To be fair though, Mr.White has been turning up in a lot of movies recently and in a lot of inconsequential roles, if I may add. Think Larry Crowne, think Detachment, and now think this. (Wiki says he was in Lincoln Lawyer, Drive, and Contagion as well. I must have seen those three before I saw him as Mr.White. Can’t recall him being in those.)
Coming to the movie, it’s from the Disney household and that’s a well known handicap. Some locations seemed to be the same ones used in Cowboys vs Aliens, and it would indeed be so easy to get the idea for Cowboys vs Aliens after reading the first few pages of the book this movie is based on. Once the action shifts on to Mars, you get the feeling you are watching a Star Wars prequel and maybe that’s what Disney counted on when it green-lit a budget of 250 mil.
The martians and the rest of the CGI is decent, as it should be with a bloated budget. 3D is a complete waste. Added absolutely nothing to the experience, except for robbing the movie of color. Lynn Collins was inspired casting. Didn’t really see her being cast by a major studio in a major movie in a major role. Not that I’m complaining, I believe she’s a lovely lady. Taylor Kitsch was accomplished, works better than Jake Gyllenhaal anyway.
Story, story… he goes to Mars, the Princess is in danger of being betrothed to an aggressive nincompoop blessed with a powerful weapon, the Martians are only too happy to see the two human-looking martians take out each other. Oh yeah, there are two kinds of martians- martians that look like humans, and martians that look like martians. Our hero befriends these martian-martians and with their help rescues the Princess from her marriage and destroys the nincompoop’s army.
He then finds himself in a Thor-like scenario, with him stuck on Earth and his wife, he proceeds to marry the Princess btw, stuck on Mars. I thought the way he solves his situation was pretty neat. Edward Lee Burroughs is a writer of repute after all.
What others are saying on other platforms (or rather, what I said about this movie on other platforms): “Watched quite a few good movies in the recent past. So went and saw John Carter to even it out.” “Not as bad as feared. There ought to be better ways of spending 250 mil though.”
Finally, I dedicate this post to Sudheer Kovelamudi. Lest you misunderstand, he’s very much alive and continues to be very much in love with Sly Stallone and Arnie Schwarzenegger.