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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 20, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

‘John Carter’: Unoriginal sci-fi saved by visuals

Though the marketing campaign made it out to be a generic science-fiction film, “John Carter” slumps thanks to its century-old sci-fi novel that inspired filmmakers  such as George Lucas and James Cameron.

Based on the book “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs, “John Carter” tells the story of former Confederate military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is transported to Mars and becomes  entangled in a conflict against Thark warrior Tal Hajus (Thomas Haden Church), which leaves the fate of the planet in Carter’s hands.

Many of the film’s alien creatures were created with CGI. While this has looked gimmicky before, director Andrew Stanton’s experience with CGI from his work on “Finding Nemo” and other Pixar films no doubt attributes to its execution in the film. Instead of glaringly standing out from the actors and sets, the CGI is naturally integrated into the film.

While the source material contains science-fiction ideas that led to the creation of “Star Wars,” these themes are so common that they no longer seem novel. The beginning of the film drags, rendering it  uninteresting.

Ultimately, “John Carter” has something for everyone. Its technical execution and strong screenplay will entertain viewers of all ages.