After all the panning and all the put downs on this film I finally decided to take a gander for myself and see what was so bad about it. So I decided to get the 3D / Blue Ray Version and check it out. I have to tell you my expectations were lower by all the negative reviews that floated around so when I sat back and watched I kept saying to myself. This is not the worst movie I have see. Matter of fact it was not to bad at all. I enjoyed some of the scenes. The effects were top notch and there was those few spots where I even laughed. So whats the big deal about this film that made people reject it right away. Grant it the budget was way way to much for it and as always with these films they had some creative licensing. But all in all the film was not painful to watch. Rather it was the opposite for the most part. And it seems I am not the only one. When I went on Amazon to purchase it the reviews for the most part was positive . In fact when I went to check the ratings and the review for this post I found that the spread was even more in favor of the movie then when I originally purchased it. there was 484 that gave it 5 stars , 134 for 4, 37 for 3 , 23 for 2 and 35 for 1. As for the extra features I have not fully delved into that yet . Just a brushing over them to see what was what. It pretty much has your standard extra features as listed here.
• Blu-ray 3D (TM) Feature Film (Fantastically done)
• Blu-ray Feature Film + Bonus
• DVD Feature Film+ Bonus
• Digital Copy of Feature Film
• Disney Second Screen (Pretty cool feature)
• 360 Degrees of John Carter
• Deleted Scene with Option Commentary by Director Andrew Stanton
• Barsoom Bloopers ( good for a couple of chuckles)
• 100 Years in the Making
• Audio Commentary with Film Makers
All in all it is worth a purchase and is not a waste of money. Now the question is why was it panned so much. I have one theory. They hype was more then the film where I was expecting much less then it really was. Either that or some critiques need to chill bait and learn to take things as they are.
After the sudden "death" of John Carter, a former American Civil War Confederate Army captain, his nephew Edgar Rice Burroughs (whom Carter called "Ned") attends the funeral. As per Carter's instructions, the body is put in a tomb that can only be unlocked from the inside; his attorney hands over Carter's personal journal for Ned to read, in the hope of finding clues explaining Carter's reason of death.
The film flashes back to the Arizona Territory, where Union Colonel Powell arrests Carter; Powell, knowing about Carter's military background, wants his help in fighting the Apache. However, Carter escapes, with the guards in pursuit. In an ensuing chase both Carter and Powell find themselves in a cave in which Carter had been looking for gold. A Thern appears in the cave at that moment; Carter kills him and, with the help of his medallion, is unknowingly transported to Barsoom (Mars). There, because of his different bone density and planet's low gravity, Carter is able to jump high and perform feats of incredible strength. He is captured by the Green Martian Tharks and their Jeddak (meaning "king") Tars Tarkas.
Elsewhere on Barsoom, the Red Martian cities of Helium and Zodanga have been at war for a thousand years. Sab Than, Jeddak of Zodanga, armed with a special weapon obtained from the Therns, proposes a cease-fire and an end to the war by marrying the Princess of Helium Dejah Thoris. The Princess makes an escape and is saved by Carter. Carter, Dejah and Tarkas' daughter Sola embark on a quest to get to the end of a sacred river to find a way for Carter to get back home. There they find information about the ninth ray, a means of utilizing infinite energy and also the key to understand how the medallion works, but they are attacked by the Thern leader Matai Shang and his minions, the Green men of Warhoon. After the attack, Carter is captured and is taken back with Dejah while Sola is able to escape. The demoralized Dejah grudgingly agrees to marry Sab Than, then gives Carter his medallion and tells him to go back to Earth. Carter decides to stay back and is captured by Shang, who tells him the purpose of Therns and how they manipulate the civilizations on different planets. Carter is able to make an escape and he and Sola go back to the Tharks and ask for their help. There they discover Tarkas has been overthrown by Tal Hajus. Tarkas, Carter and Sola are put on trial in a gladiatorial battle with two vicious ape-like creatures. After defeating them and killing Hajus, Carter becomes the leader of the Tharks.
The Thark army charges on Helium and defeats the Zodangan army by killing Sab Than. Carter becomes prince of Helium by marrying Dejah. On their first night, Carter decides to stay forever on Mars and throws away his medallion. Seizing this opportunity Shang banishes him back to Earth. Carter embarks in a long quest, looking for clues of the Therns' presence on Earth and hoping to find one of their medallions; after several years he appears to die suddenly and asks for unusual funeral arrangements – this is consistent with him having found a medallion, since his return to Mars would leave his Earth body in a coma-like state. He made Ned his protector, giving him clues about how to open the tomb. The film reverts to the present, where Ned runs back to Carter's tomb and opens it only to find it empty. Matai Shang suddenly appears, having followed Ned all the while, but as he prepares to kill Ned, Carter appears and kills him, then tells Ned that he never found a medallion; instead, he made a scheme to lure Shang out of hiding. Carter takes his medallion, whispers the code, and is finally transported back to Barsoom.
- Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, the film's main protagonist.
- Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris
- Samantha Morton as Sola
- Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas
- Thomas Haden Church as Tal Hajus
- Mark Strong as Matai Shang, the film's main antagonist.
- Ciarán Hinds as Tardos Mors
- Dominic West as Sab Than
- James Purefoy as Kantos Kan
- Bryan Cranston as Colonel Powell
- Polly Walker as Sarkoja, a Thark
- Daryl Sabara as Edgar Rice Burroughs
- Nicholas Woodeson as Dalton, Carter's attorney
- Don Stark as Dix, storekeeper in Arizona
- Jon Favreau (cameo) as Thark bookie. Favreau was once attached to direct the film when it was still a Paramount production.
- Art Malik as Zodangan General
- Jonathan Hyde as Burroughs' professor (scenes deleted)