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'John Carter' review: Confusing ride to Mars

March 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
I always know I'm in for trouble when I need a study guide to remember new words while watching a movie.

"John Carter" is based on a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Taylor Kitsch, who starred on TV's "Friday Night Lights," plays the title role - a civil war vet who is somehow transported to Mars, where the beings there are clearly having their own problems, and he finds himself right in the middle of all the action.

Here's the thing. I consider myself reasonably intelligent, but I got lost in this movie more than once. At times, I found it so confusing that I wouldn't even be able to fully describe all that went on.

I do think it's one of those films teenage boys are going to dig, and "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" die-hards will have to see it to see if it meets their sci-fi expectations. I'm guessing it won't.

Yes, it's visually fantastic. Director Andrew Stanton has a great eye for visuals. And I like the actors, along with the characters who populate this cinematic world.

However, one creature does feel a little too cute for these often awful surroundings. And he - or she - is easy to spot.

In the end, it becomes more understandable, so along the way, you just have to enjoy the ride, even if you feel like you've take a few wrong turns.

I'm not the biggest fan of 3-D, but I think it plays nicely here.

"John Carter" is rated PG-13.

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.

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