Disney isn’t exactly known for turning out live-action sci-fi thrillers, so harboring a fair amount of skepticism for their latest production “John Carter” is forgivable. Maybe you’re apprehensions would be quelled to know it was at the direction of Andrew Stanton, who cut his writing and directing teeth on Pixar productions such as “A Bugs Life,” “Monsters Inc,” “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E”, or maybe not.
If you’re willing to take the risk you’ll be handsomely rewarded with a compelling story that is just different enough to keep you interested but with enough classic elements to keep the sci-fi weirdness from alienating a more traditional audience.
Based on a series of novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, “John Carter” is the name of the main character of the story. A 19th century Virginia gentleman who, while prospecting in the Arizona desert, is mysteriously transported to the alien planet of Barsoom.
John Carter is played by Taylor Kitsch, who is best known for his portrayal of the high school football hero Tim Riggins on the popular TV show “Friday Night Lights.” Although Taylor’s acting sometimes leaves you wanting, you can be thankful that the storyline pushes through the somewhat drab dialogue and leaves you with the raw but tasteful action that makes the movie enjoyable.
Sans the interplanetary locale and alien life forms, the basic story is reminiscent of the Greek epics and in classic form a hero emerges. Top notch special effects bring the story to life and portray a beautiful and believable world in which the film takes place.
John Carter was a pleasant and unexpected surprise from Disney. The resurrection of Burroughs classic novel was not in vain and won’t be a disappointment to viewers. If your tired of cookie cutter sci-fi and action flicks John Carter could be your breath of fresh air.