Unsettling Movies: John Carter

Cover of "A Princess of Mars"
Cover of A Princess of Mars

My son and I love to watch superhero and other fantasy/sci-fi movies. Last summer, we watched every midnight opening of the superhero genre. We’ll do the same thing this coming summer as well.

Anyway, this afternoon, we went to see John Carter, based on a 100 year old book, The Princess of Mars.

It was awesome. Go see it. Disney has made a real family-friendly science fiction movie.

I noticed a few themes which Rodney would focus on, like the issue of race. From what I understand, this is developed in the other books of the series. Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author, as he does with Tarzan, places a different view on races by taking characters out of their context. In this incarnation of the movie, John Carter is a former Captain in the Confederate army. He lands on Mars.

On Mars, there are humanoids and other creatures which look radically different than, well, us. Carter seems to have to no issue with this, although, by all rights, he should. There are many colors – the red, the blue, green, and so on. This movie deals with the Red Martians who are at civil war. Oddly enough, while they feel superior to all other colors, they are the product of selective breeding between three other races.

There is a religious undertone, but not much… except for the time when the Princess acknowledges that her gods are really machines, giving place to science.

Anyway, it’s a good movie.

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