The first thing you should know about John Carter is that you have to understand THIS STORY IS 100 YEARS OLD. Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of the series of books this film is based on (and also a character in the film) wrote these in the 1910s. At the time, these stories were groundbreaking and really set the scene for what we know as today's Sci-Fi/Fantasy. These books are really important and after several attempts, it is finally put onto screen by Andrew Stanton of PIXAR fame (wrote/directed Finding Nemo and Wall-E --- WHOA!) and it turns out it's one of the better Sci-Fi epics I've seen in a while.
It took me two trips to see this movie. An hour and a half drive to Burbank on Monday to try to get into the screening with the director Q&A and they gave me tickets to see it on Wednesday in Santa Monica, so I took them. I was thankful for that because many times when you show up late to a screening, you're out of luck. So thanks, Amanda at Disney. That, mixed with the wretched marketing that this film has (It took me 3 trailers to grasp what the film really WAS, I had to look it up to see what it was ABOUT) and I just wasn't that interested. To my understanding, it was a groundbreaking book in the 1910s that laid out the groundwork for what we know as Sci-Fi today, which explains why the film looks so darn generic to me. The point is, I went in with low expectations.
After hearing some buzz from Monday's screening in Burbank, my ears went up about the movie, but not so much so that I was even expecting anything other than what Andrew Stanton's name carries. And, much like 2010's Tron: Legacy I could tell from the studio credits that I was going to enjoy this film.
The 3D was magnificent. It was fully immersive and is something to see for yourself. I hadn't felt so enthralled in a new universe and taken on a journey like that since Avatar. It really does add something to the film and made me flinch a couple times. Really dug it.
The plot was semi-predictable but only because it's a story told 100 times over the years. John Carter is the OG. With that said, there were several funny moments. There were times when I was so invested in the humor and adventure that I didn't really care about how it ended, I just wanted to know what was happening in the moment.
The film draws a lot of comparisons. Many have been calling it this generation's Star Wars and I wouldn't go quite that far. I'd say that it shares the same feelings of adventure you get when you watch A New Hope and that's a fantastic thing. John Carter is so familiar yet so fresh you can't help but have a smile on your face.
I didn't get to see it in IMAX, but I can definitely see the benefit of it. You're gonna want to get the full immersion experience with this film. It's funny, thrilling, and just about everything you want to get in a film like John Carter.
I want to see more from this franchise, but it will really depend on whether people go to see it or not. So please tell your friends to see John Carter because I really want sequels, and you will too!