The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris. In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.
The 3D effects in this film are some of the best I have seen. The perspectives are stunning. Visually speaking, this film powerfully trumps many others designed for the eyes.
Yet, I found the story to be a bit daunting for people who, like me, enter the theater not quite knowing what to expect. John Carter from Virginia is alive during the Civil War period and soon he is transported to Mars where he finds alien races fighting against each other, and a king who wants his daughter to marry his enemy to make peace. It is a bit overwhelming for a time. The aliens are not like any the viewer has ever seen and, on top of this, at least one of them can change forms at will. A few scenes are predictable such as when John Carter wants an alien to fly on a speeder and the alien replies she doesn’t fly and you know that in the next scene she will be on the speeder with John and, sure enough, she is.
Despite its themes of chivalry, heroic love, sacrifice, and following one’s heart, strong language prevents us from awarding our Dove Seal to the movie. In addition, although the violence rating is falls within our guidelines of acceptability, it borders near the edge for us and would be a bit much for some families. It’s a bit of over-kill with the violence, if you will pardon the pun.