John Carter

John Carter (2012) (IMAX 3D)
Screenplay by Andrew Stanton & Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon, based on the Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs; directed by Andrew Stanton

Guest review by Tommy “Slug” Togath, age 13

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After having recently read A Princess of Mars, I was expecting a pretty good action movie, but I was blown away by how awesome John Carter is! They changed a lot from the book, but kept the basic characters and situations. There were some new characters called Therns, which I understand come from the second book in the series, but I haven’t read yet. The movie is more logical than the book, and the story doesn’t jump around as much as the book. Taylor Kitsch as John Carter did a good job looking and acting like I imagined from the book.

I loved all the Martian characters, especially Woola, John Carter’s brave and loyal pet. He ran very fast and was able to help John Carter get out of a couple of jams. The six-limbed Tharks looked just like I imagined them. The other Martian animals looked and moved like I thought they should.

One of the best changes to the story was to make John Carter’s girlfriend Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) into a more important character. In the book she doesn’t really do much but get mad at John Carter all the time for not knowing her customs, even though she loves him. In the movie they made her a scientist and she also was almost as good as John Carter in fighting with a sword. There were a couple of funny scenes where she was able to protect him from enemies.

Another good change was to explain how John Carter traveled from the Earth to Mars. In the book he just mysteriously goes to sleep in a cave and wakes up on Mars. The movie’s explanation made sense and even helped add to the reason for the actions of the Therns.

I loved how the movie showed John Carter leaping long distances because of his Earth muscles. It was funny when he first arrived on Mars and had to learn how to move without hurting himself. There were lots of battles and fights, especially at the end of the movie, that were a lot of fun to watch because he was able to jump around his enemies.

In the book, a female Thark named Sarkoja (Polly Walker) is mean to John Carter and everyone else. In the movie she didn’t have a very big role, and her final fate was very different than in the book. The part where John Carter was captured in the city of Zodanga, then rescued by his friend Kantos Kan (James Purefoy), was shortened a lot from the book, so if you didn’t read the book you might have been a little confused.

Another change was how John Carter learned to speak the Martian language. In the book he spent weeks with the Thark children learning the language. In the movie Sola (Samantha Morton) gave him a potion that somehow let him understand and speak the language. I guess for a 2-hour movie they had to speed things up, but this was one area where the book was more believable than the movie.

I saw John Carter in IMAX 3D. The sound and music were excellent, but I don’t think the 3D was worth the extra ticket price.

John Carter is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait to see it again!

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One response to “John Carter

  1. As a retired educator and amateur writer/illustrator I think it is a fine thing to give young folks a chance to show their ability and creativity, and these two things are in evidence aplenty in the work of Mr. Togath (his last name even sounds like an alien race). Kudos to both you and Togath for writing fine reviews and sharing most of my own opinions about a rousing old school epic film experience. I hope they (the producers) can recoup the fortune they spent on this movie with brisk DVD sales. Too bad the possibility of a sequel was squelched by only middling box office numbers.

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