Today, I went to see a film. It’s a film that I really wanted to love, and which film critics really wanted me to hate. Sometimes I love it when things turn out my way and the critics turn out to have been watching a totally different film.
The film: John Carter.
It’s GREAT. Go see it.
If you’ve not heard of it it, it’s based on a series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs that fit into the genre known as “Planetary Romance”. People will often call it science fiction, but it predates the SF genre, having been written nearly a century ago (the first book was written in 1917).
It seems the critics have their knives out for this one, but largely speaking, it seems that they’re just not paying attention. Either that, or they’re panning it because they don’t like the genre. I’m not going to say it’s a masterpiece, but if you like the genre, you’ll *love* this film
It nails it. The cast are good. The effects are appropriate. The story is solid and doesn’t drag. The action is good, and unlike most modern action film fights, they told the story of the fight, rather than just showing a series of jump-cut set-pieces.
If you’re aware of the books, and are staying away because it’s just called “John Carter” instead of “John Carter of Mars” or “A Princess of Mars”, stop being an idiot and go see it. The title change, whilst a bit weird, actually makes a lot of sense in the way that the film pans out.
If you want a good, solid action / adventure film in a Planetary Romance genre? Go see this. Go see it now. Don’t just go and look at Rotten Tomatoes, as it’s clearly populated by folks who don’t get Planetary Romance. The kind of people who’d have panned Star Wars because it was “silly”.
The fact that everybody who’s voice I respect in the field of SF or Planetary Romance seems to have got on board with this and loves it should tell you something.
I gave it a shot, and loved it. I’d like to see more of this kind of thing, and I’d like to see it done as well as this has been, and as respectfully of the source material.
(I’m about to crosspost this to a couple of other places. If you see it multiple times… well, that’s how it goes!)