If only Andrew Stanton's John Carter had sneaked into the multiplex with its mostly shirtless Earth-man hero (Taylor Kitsch) fighting fourarmed green dudes and assorted hairy apes from Mars, audiences might have given it a pass as the mildly entertaining, old-school adventure it is.
But nooo! John Carter, a post-Civil War-era Confederate soldier from Virginia who finds himself zapped onto the red planet (called Barsoom instead of Mars), must face a deadlier enemy than author Edgar Rice Burroughs could have dreamed up when he created the character 100 years ago. I'm talking about the toxic buzz that has curled around the movie before anyone had seen it. How dare it cost so much money ($250 million)! How dare Stanton think he can switch from animation (WALL-E, Finding Nemo) to directing live actors! How dare they rip off Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Avatar? (Hey, haters: Burroughs got there first.)
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