"Who is that?" So villain Mark Strong asks in the opening line of the latest trailer for John Carter, thus echoing the sentiment of pretty much every non-sci-fi-nerd who is not John Carter. The film opens in less than two weeks and, according to recent tracking, awareness and interest for the film is dismally low for a $250+ budgeted film. Confirming those tracking numbers, last night, following a John Carter TV spot, I was drawn into this brief conversation:
"What is this place supposed to be?"
"Oh, that's Mars? I was wondering why he was in a weird desert. Why is he on Mars?"
"I... I don't know. He was in the Civil War, and somehow he ends up on Mars. It was a series of books."
"What? Why does he have the most boring name imaginable?"
"I don't know."
This so-called "final" trailer for John Carter makes no attempt at clearing any of that up. Like with the previous trailers, Disney is so intent on showing off their effects that you can't taste any of the actual meal under all the overwhelming CGI ketchup they dumped out. You also can't help but feel bad for Mark Strong, who, as in the similarly CGI-smothered Green Lantern, has been reduced to being the runny cup of coleslaw included in every blockbuster meal basket: truly appreciated by few, innocuous to most, and now so commonplace you probably hardly even notice him either way.
Anyway, here's the trailer.
Couldn't McNulty just quickly say, "Weird this man with a commonplace name is on Mars, huh?" Just to at least acknowledge if not clarify some things.