John Carter is a Myth. Deal With It.

Went out this weekend to see John Carter. I liked it. A solid adventure flick. I certainly felt I go my money’s worth. Then I checked out some of the reviews (which I often do only after I see a movie). They seemed to fall into three categories. First, older reviewers praised the movie, noting the adaptation from the book. Younger reviewers accused the film of ripping off elements from older sci-fi movies. I don’t’ think these people realize that this book was written in 1911 by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the same fellow that penned Tarzan. In truth, most sci-fi flicks have stolen from him.

The third category of review irks me the most. People whine about the inaccuracies of the film. There is no atmosphere on Mars. People wouldn’t jump that far with Martian gravity. Ships couldn’t fly with sunlight. To this I say, John Carter is myth.

Princess of Mars written by Burroughs

Think about it. I could climb to the top of Mt. Olympus and what would I see? Maybe some rocks. I certainly wouldn’t be in the fabled city of the Olympian gods. Yet this reality doesn’t diminish the awe I have when reading the Greek myths. They are a fantasy I am more than willing to indulge.

The same goes for John Carter. True, we have a much more information about the red planet now. Yet considering when this book was written, think of all the amazing elements Burroughs got right? The absence of water. The difference in gravity. His story is an adventure, pure an simple. For those that can’t accept that, then perhaps they shouldn’t buy a ticket.

I will say, John Carter felt much more believable than Mission to Mars ever did. That film, which pretended to be an accurate movie, had a fellow living in a tent with a couple of plants for a year. Apparently a few ferns can produce enough air to survive on Mars. Who knew?

So lay off Burroughs. He wrote an adventure story and the film was a great adaptation of it. Buy some popcorn, sit down, and enjoy.

Tim Kane