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A weathered, worn and widowed ex-Confederate captain and cavalryman is scouring the West for gold. He is a bullet’s length away from being forced to join arms with the soldiers of a nearby fort in their efforts to defend themselves from the Apache natives. He escapes to a cavern where he finally finds the coveted gold that he has been searching for. Everything seems as if it will go well until he is accidently transported by a strange medallion to a place that is not Earth. His name is John Carter, he is brought to us by Disney, and he has been sent to Mars where he will fight 12 foot barbarians.
Sounds like a terrible movie, right? Just another pathetic, unrealistic attempt at Disney to take a comic book and create and action filled movie with adventure, romance, and wicked life-like animation, is it not? There are no words to describe how much I wish I could validate the level of lame that I expected from the movie. As much as it pains me to say, “John Carter” was one of the most cleverly epic movies I have seen from Disney since the first “National Treasure.”
The movie focuses around John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a man from Virginia who has nothing left after the end of the Civil War. After he meets and kills a thern, the Mars equivalent of a monk who has magical powers, in a cavern, he is transported to the planet of Barsoon (Mars) where he is thrust into a war between two of the major kingdoms: Zodanga and Helium. He is rescued by a brilliantly animated giant bug-monster thing, Tars Tarkas (voice by Willem Dafoe), the leader of the Tharks, and eventually because of his association with the Tharks he meets the princess of Helium. From there, with the help of the princess and Tars Tarkas daughter, Carter sets off to fight off the bad dudes and find his way back to Earth.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this movie was not the monstrous failure I had expected it to be. I mean, come on, a Civil War veteran traveling to Mars? There is no possible way to do that without a bit of cheesiness. The director Andrew Stanton, who also directed animated Disney films such as “WALL-E” and “Finding Nemo,” did an exceptional job especially considering that “John Carter” was his first live-action film. The graphics were phenomenal, and the details put into the film only made it that much more appealing. I found myself wanting believing that the tale was plausible, regardless of every scientific fact about Mars that I have learned over the years.
John Carter is not only a likeable character, but he manages to keep his Southern gentlemanly posture as he is fighting his way through an entirely different planet, complete with foreign language, a way of life dissimilar to that of Civil War-era America. While he did accept his position a lot more easily than one would think, I found that it did not detract from the movie in any major way. “John Carter” is definitely a movie that I would enjoy going to see again.



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BrittyMS This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm
I just want to apologize...I have no idea why the entire thing is posted in the comments. I just feel lame now...haha
 
alanclarke714This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm
Plus, the reason- to me -why John Carter is one of the most epic adventure movies of all time is because Star Wars stole everything it was from this story. Yep, Star Wars is completely unoriginal; John Carter was written in 1912, and Star Wars was made in the 70s. John Carter was phenomenal either way
 
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