By Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
This epically expensive film cost Disney $200 million
dollars to produce. It’s both a
throwback to American history and futuristic sci-fi story based on a character
and series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs of “Tarzan” fame.
John Carter is a former Confederate soldier who heads west
to Arizona Territory only for men to try to force
him to fight their frontier battles. But John does not believe in war or
violence and he resists. Then he is mysteriously transported to Mars where
strange beings capture him. Some are kindly; they only want to communicate
because they wonder about his amazing ability to jump huge distances and
heights. He wonders about this himself and this gift comes in very handy as his
adventures increase. Others do not like him. Humans are there, too, with one
group is fighting to take over the other. He is attracted to the Princess of
Helium who does not want to marry the head of the other city that her father
thinks will ensure peace.
And on and on.
“John Carter” initials are “J.C.”, in other words, he could
be considered a kind of savior figure to the people of Helium and other
creatures of Mars or Barsoom as they call the planet. The only point I got out
of this long and rambling movie – that is strangely watchable – is that Carter
stands for peace and non-violence.
Otherwise much of the film, including the melodramatic music
in the first part, is like a 1950s “B” movie. In other words, it’s corny and
If you know the Tarzan stories you will notice
much similarity: men among aliens, in alien environments, one swings from trees
in the jungle and the other jumps canyons and cliffs to escape danger, save the
princess, and avoid conflict.
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