Mars, one of the many beautiful planets of our solar system. It has been named the one planet that is most similar to earth in climate, terrain and other miscellaneous facts. Now that doesn’t mean that it is exactly the same. Strangely enough it’s those similarities, differences and mysteries that have intrigued us for centuries and have been the inspiration for a multitude of science fiction writers. Currently, it is the back drop of Disney’s latest live-action-adventure film John Carter.
John Carter, named after it’s central character, is about a former Civil War Captain. Former being the highlighted word here, you see due, “to a past traumatic experience,” (anonymous source) he no longer wants to fight for anyone. All he wants is to get enough money to start a normal life and move on. Sadly, war seems to find him wherever he goes. When he is transported to Mars, he is again confronted with a war. He is left with the choice of picking a side and fight or find a way home and leave the war to the aliens. Will he even find a way home?
John Carter is an ambitious film, mainly due to it’s history. It’s based of a book entitled, “A Princess of Mars,” written decades before ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Avatar’ it became the inspiration for both. Now since both films came out before, will their inspiration prove better, similar or worse… For the most part it does fulfill, by providing stunning views of CGI landscapes, intense drama and exciting action. However it’s on the little things that it doesn’t pull through; such as character development. Many are rushed along and don’t develop past the obvious personality traits that are shown. There are a few sub-plots that could have been developed more. I must say though, from a filmmaker’s standpoint, I do understand time constraints and how quickly you can lose an audience. So while some viewers may leave wanting more detail, most should leave satisfied.
Having said that, here are a few negative elements to look out for. The violence is intense in nature, but thankfully the somewhat gory images do not get more than a few seconds screen time. This doesn’t mean that I am going soft because I do abhor viewing death of anything as if it were a falling leaf. The death count is large, but may appear easier to handle as most are suffered by CGI creatures/aliens. Blood is visible making the film mildly gory. Now since this is an alien movie there are a variety of creatures that inhabit on mars. And these may be disturbing to younger or more sensitive viewers. There are a few curse words that are mainly dispersed from the central character. And despite the sexual content being described as almost non-existent, I do have to argue that point a bit. I personally believe that when I see a certain percentage of skin, the person is partially nude, I could live without seeing that as a whole. So since the costumes for majority of the characters barely cover them, I believe that the film does show partial nudity. So viewers be aware. Remember Matthew 5: 28, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
This leads me to my next point. While at first glance this film may appear to be a great family film, it really isn’t. I would strongly encourage adults to really ask themselves, do I need to see a half-dressed man and woman saving the universe for an hour. If you are struggling in the area of lust of the eyes, I say skip it. Now if you are a mature person, who will not ogle the characters and follow the story, you will probably enjoy it. My overall is…
As always, pray before you pick!
By Jessica Young
***Rated PG-13 For intense sequences of violence and action.
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