"John Carter" arrives in theaters today, after what seems like forever (at least to The Cricket, who's been reporting on this movie for two years).
The space epic, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' influential pulp novels, is a fun ride, grand in scale and loaded with otherworldly sights and rousing action. It's also got a fine cast, led by Taylor Kitsch as the rugged Earth man transplanted to Mars; Lynn Collins as the alluring Martian princess Dejah Thoris; Dominic West as the ruthless warlord Sab Than; Mark Strong as the meddling shapeshifter Matai Chang; and Willem Dafoe providing voice and motion to the computer-generated Tars Tarkas, leader of the nine-foot-tall green Tharks. Director Andrew Stanton creates a complex and original vision, while evoking the classics of science fiction ("Flash Gordon," "Star Wars," "Avatar") that descended from Burroughs' tales.
This weekend's other studio movies the Eddie Murphy comedy "A Thousand Words" and the haunted-house thriller "Silent House" were not screened for Utah critics. (Look for The Cricket's reviews online late this afternoon.)