April 21, 2012
How close, and yet how far! It's difficult to enumerate the influence that Edgar Rice Burroughs has had on fiction writers over the past hundred years or so since the publication of A Princess of Mars. One thing for sure, however, Disney's recent film, "John Carter of Mars", as high as it aims, falls sadly flat in any number of ways.
It's a damn shame, too, a damn shame!
Before I launch into the meat of my criticism, let me say that a great number of things with the film came out very well actually. The problem, in essence, comes down to a messed up script, and even worse assembly. But first, let me enumerate what I liked:
Now, I recognize that books and film are different media, and must necessarily approach a story in different ways, but this film has taken unfortunate liberties with the story, and for no discernible reasons. In fact, I think the film's problems are two-fold: The story introduces unnecessarily complex and stupid things, and skips rather lightly past a lot of the mythology; and the story pacing is an utter mess ("uneven" would be putting it mildly).
The list goes on, but anyone who has read the books will understand just why the film disappoints as much as it does. The film actually has moments of brilliance, moments of sheer beauty and satisfying grace; but it's frustrating to see how much effort has been spent on this film, how much good work has been put into it, and how hard many people must have worked on it, only to have it all come out such a mess in the end.
It makes me sad.
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