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John Carter


(Overwhelming Disney adventure)

This overwhelming Disney adventure, taken from a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is filled with adventure, super special effects and too many prolonged scenes. It borrows from "Star Wars," old western movies, and even the wedding scene from "The Graduate," making the movie seem like something you've seen before.

There are, however, some interesting creatures, including four-armed, tusked Martians who think our handsome hero is ugly, and the ugliest frog-like pet you'll ever see.

The story begins with Virginian cavalryman John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) getting himself in a bit of trouble after being a Civil War hero. He discovers gold in a mysterious cave, tussles with a strange man who keeps changing into other people, and is given a medallion that somehow lands him on Mars.

There are funny moments when he bounds high in the air on the planet and discovers that he has other powers as well. Then he discovers that he is in the midst of yet another civil war. He also discovers a beautiful princess (Lynn Collins), who has been given to a rival tribe in exchange for their clan not being destroyed. And you can see where this relationship is headed.

There are battles after battles as the overwhelming story plods along, with John Carter flying around and wiping out hundreds of Martians.

It all comes down to saving the planet, winning the princess, and choosing between a life on Mars or one on Earth in a rather contrived ending.

The movie was filmed in desolate areas of Utah and is filled with great scenery, some of which had to be done in a studio.

Rated PG-13, with lots of violence.


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