Will Action-Packed Final Trailer Fix Things for John Carter?
It's no secret that Disney's been scrambling to counteract bad tracking and mixed word of mouth on their mega-budgeted March actioner John Carter, so it's worth a look to see what they've done with the latest (and "final") trailer for the Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation. And behold! A trailer filled with nearly everything that makes John Carter worth going to see: Alien creatures, political intrigue, Taylor Kitsch in a loincloth, Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris, and lots of inventive, fantastical action.
The trailer doesn't bother trying to explain what Kitsch's American Civil War veteran John Carter is doing on the strange world of Mars, caught between various factions in a planetary war who each want his heightened battle skills to use as their secret weapon. Nor does it try to woo the ladies, or at least what studio execs think of as the traditionally-minded romantic-leaning female demographic, by spending too much time on Carter's series-defining love affair with the Martian princess.
Nope, this trailer gives us action, and from the start: John Carter leaps over his enemies in battle, slashing his way through to victory so well that even Mark Strong's all-knowing Thern leader has to ask, "Who is that??" We glimpse the film's breathtaking aerial battles, but those podracer-esque aircrafts are barely seen. Star Wars similarities, begone! The trailer ends as it begins -- with a John Carter fight, this time in an arena against a giant white ape. It's one of the better action scenes of the film, and yet doesn't reveal too much.
Disney's already (most likely) got the Burroughs diehards in the bag, not to mention whatever Pixar fans may come out to support/check out Finding Nemo and WALL-E director Andrew Stanton in his live-action debut. Does a trailer like this engage the uninitiated male demo enough to turn the tide of bad, or underwhelming, word of mouth? And if Disney doesn't get a certain female audience with this clip, Kitsch's niche Friday Night Lights following aside, is that okay? As a lifelong fan of sci-fi and fantasy myself, I was immersed in the world of John Carter as soon as he hit the sandy dunes of Mars. If you aren't interested by now in at least checking out John Carter, no amount of calculated marketing is likely to change that.