Improbable scenario, try to sit back and enjoy - John Carter (M)
I ALWAYS groan when a film begins with an extended, sonorous voice-over, encapsulating a thousand-year history into four minutes. This happens frequently in Chinese historical dramas and increasingly with big action, sci-fi fantasy films that are set in some mythical location. And so it is with John Carter.
We are told about the history of the planet Mars, which is not the red, arid place of science but a fertile land called Barsoom where various species live, some of whom look amazingly like humans.
The people of the city of Helium are the good guys, under the reign of Tardos Mors (Hinds), who has a beautiful scientifically minded daughter, Princess Dejah (Collins). However the city is under constant threat from its rivals under the leadership of Sab Than (West).
Thump back to earth where a young Edgar Rice Burroughs (Sabara) arrives in New York to the news his uncle John Carter (Kitsch) has died and he has inherited his vast wealth.