Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Princess of Mars (2009)

Waring, SPOILER alert for the film and the novel of the same name by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

I realize I run the risk of sounding like a slavish fan-boy, but wow, did they only skim Burrough's Princess of Mars before making this film? What's wrong with it? First off there is the modernization by having John Carter be a top-notch hot shit super soldier in the modern times. The film starts with him in Afghanistan, he is horribly injured in a confrontation with opium dealers then the gold Army sends him off to Mars (but not the Mars we know, another one, yup) utilizing a top secret method that is sort-a-kinda tested but not really. The reason? Well that remains unclear even after watching the film. At least John Carter is still from Virginia.

The Green Martians have only two arms, no extra appendages, all the cool stuff you might remember from reading the novel, such as John Carter becoming a respected member of the Tharks by learning and mastering their barbaric ways, that's not in the movie. Instead Carter learns to speak their language by eating a bug. Remember how he earned the respect of the Green Martians by teaching them animal husbandry and friendship? That's missing to. We don't get to see Carter's relationship with his faithful Martian hound Woola. There are no white apes, these are replaced by flying spider creatures, sooooooo less cooler then white apes (I dig apes).

There is no sub-plot involving the malign Sarkoja. Sola makes an appearance, but her story is never told.

Traci Lords as Dejah Thoris? Well first: she ain't red. Second, and this sounds cruel, but maybe twenty years ago. Traci Lords was 41 when this movie was made. In my mind, I picture a young dark haired beauty in her twenties, and oh yeah...RED!

Rumor is that Disney/Pixar is producing a live action/digital film that should see the light of day possibly in 2012. I recommend waiting for it and keeping your fingers crossed.


  1. lol - I just watched this the other day on Netflix and man it was horrible. Yet I watched the whole thing. No thanks to Lords I might add. And some of it sober even.

  2. Another review I read said that it was on Mars, but it was 'Mars in a different solar system' - but no one's that stupid are they?

  3. I watched this several months ago, and I enjoyed it, in an 'oh dear god, this is horribly cheesy' kind of way. It would make good fodder for MST3K. Poor Traci, having her portray someone who if I recall correctly is described by Carter in the books as the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen is quite a stretch.