Based on the writing of Edgar Rice Burroughs (of Tarzan fame) the film itself is very entertaining. It isn't on the level of Star Wars or some of the other films they reference in the late advertising push---but it was a good solid sci-fi picture... An 8 out of 10. It had a good plot that has influenced many sci-fi movies that have been made over the last couple decades which at times makes it feel like it is just copying those films. For those that don't realize it the book series from which John Carter comes was actually the inspiration for many of those films that it seems to be borrowing from. The box office when compared to the large sum that was rumored to be spent on the film was disappointing in more ways than one. If this film had made Star Wars or Harry Potter type money, or even the kind of money that many recent comic book movies had made we could have seen many, many sequels for years to come. There were after all 11 books in the John Carter series. Alas the lukewarm U.S. Box office could kill all of that....The foreign box office was less disappointing....but at the budget of this film it really needed to be a blockbuster.
It reminded me of 3 animated movies that I really loved Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet and Titan A.E. which were action packed Sci-fi adventures. Those animated films underperformed and basically killed off more films like them which I would have loved to see. Another example of film like this was the recent reboot of Conan which literally died at the box ( I personally thought was exactly what a Conan movie should be) . The lack of blockbuster status may deny us the pleasure of future movies like that. I waited several decades for a new Conan and when they finally did it and got it right it didn't work and as a result Conan will disappear for probably another couple of decades which is a shame. It is sad because there is more to the world of John Carter that we won't get to see. Mysteries that won't get solved unless read the books. Blame it on bad marketing ? Blame it at just the wrong movie at the wrong time? Who knows exactly..... I just hope that John Carter's lack luster opening does kill or effect whether Tron gets another sequel which it very well could.
The movie itself follows the adventures of Captain John Carter a confederate solider that gets transported to Mars (Barsoom as called by the locals) where he finds himself involved in the middle of a war. The movie has a solid plot that is filled with action and adventure and a little bit of humor. It also has a princess that wears what could have become the new slave Leia outfit for all comic-cons had the box office been better. The story leaves you with a satisfying ending that is definitely left open...for additional films that may never happen. If you like good Sci-Fi Fantasy check John Carter out.
For some low budget John Carter action --check out my thoughts on Princess of Mars a Sy-fy channel dud