John Carter the movie is based on the Barsoom books written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the early 1900's. Specifically it is based on the first book in that series titled Princess of Mars. I have not read any of the books, but the series along with other works by Burroughs have been an inspiration to many writers. Now being that I have not read the books, I am not capable of comparing the book to the movie, so I apologize if you were looking for that connection, but the story I was given in the movie I really enjoyed. Captain John Carter, a civil war veteran from Virginia finds himself mysteriously transported to the planet of Mars, or as the natives there call it, Barsoom. When he gets there he quickly learns that due to a difference in gravity amongst other factors he can leap far and consequently become really strong. This makes him a great warrior and weapon in the war that he quickly learns that he has been thrown right into. The story is one of him finding out who he truly is as he battles internally between finding a way back home, chasing after the runaway princess, and deciding if he wants to help save the planet from destruction. It is a story with heart and bravery that has a great combination of action and romance.
What else was good about it? The special effects were brilliant. You could tell that a lot of time and effort was put into creating the Barsoom world and creatures. The CGI aliens were quite brilliant and, as the credits informed me, shooting at least a portion of this movie in the great Martian-like scenery of Moab, Utah was a great idea. I thought the acting was great in the movie, especially Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins as the lead roles of John Carter and Princess Dejah Thoris respectively. I thought the costume design was well done as that made it feel like we were on Mars. However, of note is that this may be disturbing to some as several of the outfits are quite revealing particularly that of the Princess of which her outfit towards the end is the worst. Lastly I would like to mention that the music was fantastic and added greatly to the movie. Michael Giacchino, best known in my books at least for his brilliant music in the TV series Lost, was a great choice for this movie.
This movie was obviously intended on being a huge blockbuster hit with multiple sequels if it was successful. I am saddened that it didn't work out as expected and sadly I have a hard time seeing another John Carter movie hitting theaters after this one was an epic failure in the Box Office. But great movie that makes me want to pick up the books and read them. I am giving this an 8 out of 10.