Thursday, December 01, 2011

My thoughts on the 2nd John Carter (of Mars) trailer.

I was left feeling particularly underwhelmed by the first trailer to John Carter, so approached this second effort with some trepidation. It is then with cautious optimism that I can report myself much more impressed by the new trailer. It’s still seriously lacking in context – is it just me, or is the word Mars like a giant diseased elephant stinking up the room – but there are hints of something beyond “Blockbuster” if you care to look for it. I’d point in particular to a moment about 1 minute in, where we see what look to be the bodies of Red Martians (it’s hard to tell) being piled up by Tharks and a look of despair on the face of Deeja Thoris at the sight. This is pure Edgar Rice Burroughs, and if the movie is going to take time to tell the story of the Tharks – a proud and noble race driven to savagery by the harsh and dwindling resources of Mars, then we might just be looking at a Blockbuster with heart and soul. I like the fact that it seems Carter is, as the book told, to be reluctantly absorbed into the Thark hoard, and hope if that’s the case, we’ll get some of the conflict we feel in the book, as he tries to juggle respect for their strength and nobility with loathing for their barbarous ways. I am somewhat perturbed at hints of a McGuffin of some sort, and there seem to be some other significant deviations from the original story hinted at. Also, though Sarkoja and Soja, two key female Thark characters in the book are credited in the cast, I don’t see any sign of them yet – I hope that particularly plot strand has not fallen too far by the wayside. So it’s a much better trailer than the 1st, hinting at a darker and more thoughtful movie than the predominating action sequences suggest, though if truth be told, I am still not getting the wow factor. And I’m sorry, but I still absolutely hate that anodyne “John Carter” title.