I know there is an unwritten rule on the Corner about not talking about Star Trek or similar science-fiction dramas, and we just ended a week in which the most important case in sixty years was argued before the Supreme Court, so naturally I want to add one (maybe) last comment to the colloquy on John Carter of Marsbetween Michael Auslin and Mark Steyn.
Guys, you are both wrong, as are all of the critics. This was a fun movie and a very faithful recreation of the great adventure book by Edgar Rice Burroughs. My biggest fear when I went into the movie theater was that they would have ruined the story by straying too much from the book.
I grew up reading the whole Burroughs series about John Carter, the former Southern cavalry officer who is mysteriously transported to Barsoom (Mars to the unenlightened). Carter swash buckles his way across Barsoom, falling in love with, rescuing (naturally), and eventually marrying the beautiful Dejah Thoris, the Princess of Helium, every red-blooded American boy’s fantasy princess. She is a member of the humanoid red race of Mars.
Burroughs’s Barsoom series is the science-fiction version of the kinds of tales written by Rafael Sabatini, who wrote The Sea Hawk and Captain Blood, some of the best adventure novels ever written for the young and the male. It helped inspire the writings of many other famous science fiction writers, from Robert Heinlein to Ray Bradbury. And it was Burroughs who created the great character Tarzan, too.