Hollywood is determined to make an action star out of Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch ("X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "The Bang-Bang Club"). If you watched the Super Bowl last night you may have caught a glimpse of the British Columbia-born actor in between the skull-crushing hits and the brain-melting half-time performance by Madonna.
The former "Friday Night Lights" star appeared in not one but two Super Bowl teasers -- and for two of the biggest movies of the year: Disney's swashbuckling sci-fi epic "John Carter" and Universal's insane adaptation of the board game "Battleship."
Kitsch stars as the titular John Carter, a Civil War soldier mysteriously transported to a fantastic version of Mars - a dying world divided by warring factions fighting over the few remaining resources. Gifted with superior strength and agility (thanks to the low gravity of the planet), Carter's appearance in the midst of the of conflict looks to tip the balance war.
"John Carter" is a big-budget gambit for Disney. The $250 million dollar film is based on the lesser-known pulp novels of "Tarzan" creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. Kitsch also lacks major name recognition at this point in his career, but "John Carter's" impressive visual effects should be enough to draw a crowd.
Taking the prize for the most ridiculous adaptation of anything ever is "Battleship." Kitsch stars as Lt. Alex Hopper, a promising US Naval officer who has a problem with authority. When aliens invade Earth's oceans (no, really), Hopper finds himself on the front line of the battle to save the planet. Wait... There were aliens in the board game?
"Battleship" borrows heavily from the Michael Bay visual effects playbook. You would not be faulted for thinking the movie looks like "Transformers 4." Kitsch spends most of the trailer looking surprised and befuddled (you'd be too if aliens attacked your battleship), but hopefully he'll have more to do in the movie proper. As long as Liam Neeson gets to yell, "You sunk my battleship!" at an alien seconds before punching it in the face, audiences will probably be happy with this one.
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