Certainly, the movie looks like it cost some serious money, but at least in this writer's opinion, it seems like a George Lucas world sci-fi epic crossed with "Dune." It feels like we've seen this sort of movie a zillion times before (the chained/prisoner monster fight was just spoofed earlier this year in "Your Highness"), and despite the impressive work on the ships and creatures, it's also oddly not very compelling. It's a lot of masses of CGI stuff, some growly one liners, with still no glimpse of a story except for something about a "new power" or whatever.
The movie marks the coming out of Taylor Kitsch, one of two tests he'll have in 2012 as a blockbuster leading man, fronting this movie and "Battleship." And here at least, he's confident and capable, and looks every bit the transplanted hero coming to kick ass. The rest of the cast is fine, if not particularly memorable, a bit of problem when it boasts thesps like Willem Dafoe (granted, he's been CGI-ed), Mark Strong (those eyes!), Bryan Cranston, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton and more.
So, will Disney have a franchise on its hands and will the very long development journey for "John Carter" be worth it? Or do we have another "Tron: Legacy" on our hands? Find out on when the Andrew Stanton directed film arrives on March 9, 2012.