Ever watched Star Trek? Star Wars? Mad Max? No? Then my first question should have been, “How old are you?” You’re probably missing essential insight into the science fiction/action genre by jumping right into Disney’s new epic John Carter. But no worries, we at hapless geek are more than capable of making sure you won’t be wasting precious ducats snoozing through a film. And thankfully for you (and Disney), you won’t be. John Carter is equal parts fun, funny and action-packed.
Director Andrew Stanton didn’t let his training and influence at Pixar go to waste when creating an atmosphere for his debut live-action piece. The visuals and grand scale of John Carter will leave you breathless, all the while deciphering which inhabitant of the planet Barsoom–that’s Mars for the uninitiated–to root for, as a solid (and at times predictable) story told through the eyes of the titular character (Taylor Kitsch) gives you plenty of options. The inhabitants of Helium, led by princess Dejah Thoris (played by the stunning Lynn Collins); shape-shifter Matai Shang, played by the always intimidating Mark Strong; the benevolent conscience of the story Tars Tarkas (voiced by veteran Willem Dafoe), or John Carter himself, which Kitsch portrays with understated wit and vigor, much like the aforementioned man beyond Thunderdome (look it up, I beg you.)
And, as always with Disney, you can expect a great score, iconic characters, and a love story of some kind. Look for it at a theater not overrun by teeny-boppers waiting to watch The Hunger Games. Again.