The movie John Carter is based on a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs–best known for his Tarzan stories–who is also a character in the movie. The premise is that Burroughs uncle, John Carter (a Civil War veteran) manages to travel through time to Mars and back.
Since the story was written before a lot of modern movies with similar themes, it wouldn’t be fair to say that it borrows ideas from other stories. In fact, it might be the other way around. However, there are a number of moments in the movie that look similar to other movies. I noticed similarities to Star Wars, 300, Avatar, Pocahantas, and Braveheart.
Taylor Kitsch, who plays John Carter, is somewhat lacking in acting skills. The way he delivered some of his lines made me laugh, even if they weren’t humorous. It didn’t help that some of the lines were really cheesy and rather full of cliches.
The plot of John Carter is also predictable, which isn’t always a bad thing. And it was at least funny, although there were moments when it was unintentionally funny. The biggest intentional gag of the movie, the Martians calling Carter “Virginia” instead of “Carter,” gets old quite soon. The unintentionally funny moments, however, continue through the whole movie.
John Carter is an amusing romp of a sci-fi adventure movie, but it is seriously lacking any depth. Viewers will probably enjoy it, as long as they don’t expect it to be anything more than a flashy Disney movie about an earthling on Mars.