Saturday, January 31, 2015

Movie Review: Princess of Mars

Princess of Mars a.k.a The Martian Colony Wars a.k.a. Avatar of Mars a.k.a. John Carter of Mars
Starring: Antonio Sabato Jr., Traci Lords, Matt Lasky, Chacko Vadaketh , Mitchell Gordon, Noelle Perris, Matt Lagan, Kimberly Ables Jindra, Tomas Boykin, Rob Ullett, Dean Kreyling, Mohammad Kavianpour, Jay Beyers, Ali Tagi Alexander, Jonathan Footman, Jordan Steele
Director: Mark Atkins
The Asylum, USA, 2009.
Princess of Mars title
This movie is part of Master of Disaster collection containing nine films from The Asylum (published by Great Movies GMBH).

The story is loosely based on the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

John Carter (Antonio Sabato Jr.) is US Special Forces officer working in Afghanistan. He tries to save some people from opium smugglers but gets fatally wounded. Luckily everything that is needed to reconstruct him can be fitted on 16 GB flash memory stick. Then John Carter can be sent to gather intelligence from planet Mars-216. 
Antonio Sabato Jr.
John Carter
Tomas Boykin as Cornwell Sams and Rob Ullett as Hudson
So John wakes on Mars-216. First thing he sees is a glimpse of The Princess (Traci Lords) and her bodyguard. In the planet's low gravity he can jump like a superhero. He is captured by Tharks (who look like orc cosplayers) who want to see his jumping skills. After battling giant spiders together with the Tharks, he is offered some dubious cuisine. Food gives him ability to understand their language. Two Tharks introduce themselves Tars Tarkas (Matt Lasky) and Sola (Noelle Perris). John becomes member of the Thark tribe.
Traci Lords
The Princess
Antonio Sabato Jr.
John is captured by Tharks
Matt Lasky
Tars Tarkas
A spaceship appears and the Tharks try to shoot it down. Apparently The Princess stole Jabba the Hut's barge and also found wardrobe containing Leia's bikinis. John witnesses the murder of Kantos Kan (Matt Lagan) and Saroh Kan (Kimberly Ables Jindra). Before dying Kantos asks John to save Princess Dejah Thoris from Sab Than (Chacko Vadaketh). John "captures" Princess to get information from Tharks. It is revealed that tyrannical Thark boss Tal Hajus (Mitchell Gordon) wants to use Princess as a bargaining chip for getting technology from the people of Helium.
Traci Lords
The Princess is captured
Chacko Vadaketh
Sab Than
Helium people are also maintaining machines that makes breathable air for the planet. The Tharks do not believe that the machine is working and that the Helium people are only lying. It's up to John to save the planet, rescue the princess and put end to the tyranny. By the way the air station worker is Dean Kreyling, a familiar face from other films of The Asylum. 
Dean Kreyling
Air station mechanik
Spaceships look nice
Also the matte effects look good
This movie is not mockbuster of John Carter, because this was made three years earlier. Instead this was meant to be mockbuster of Avatar. The movie is quite mixed bag. On the other hand the scifi effects look good for an Asylum production. Landscapes and matte effects looks very nice. The movie is also relatively faithful to the original book. But the movie also contains lots of silly random moments that leave you scratching your head. Also the dialogue is terrible. It is disappointing. This could have been a good B-movie, but the unevenness ruins the final experience.

Rating: Average (as a low budget film) or Bad (as a regular movie)

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