The Detail They Nailed:
John Carter employed linguists and dialect coaches from Avatar and Lord Of The Rings to create a fully functional Barsoomian language that matched up with the 420 words in the original 11 books. They diligently taught the language to the actors until they could communicate with one another in Barsoomian and began to influence one another to create a cohesive dialect for their tribe. They constructed a new language so that the Martian speech wouldn't feel like filler gibberish.
What They Missed:
I'm all for movies that go the extra mile to get the details right. (Did you know that the costume designer for Rome went to India to find materials to make 4,000 truly authentic-looking costumes? Neat!) I merely suggest that the "Let's construct and learn an artificial language" phase of production should come after the "Let's figure out why everyone's obsessed with jumping, even though they have airships that fly on light" phase of production. People literally watch John Carter's jumps agape from their flying airships. "Wow!" they seem to say, "it's almost like he can do what we can, only with less control!" This contradiction really leaps out at the viewer in one of the first scenes where the male and female leads talk to one another:
Princess: "How did you learn to jump like that?"
Carter: "I don't know. How can your ships fly?"
Princess: "Everyone knows how to make ships fly, you IDIOT!"
Walt Disney Pictures
"You're so lucky you have that six-pack and face to get by on."
Now, maybe mocking John Carter for having inconsistencies is unfair, like poking fun at Michael Jordan for his batting average. To that I say, "Don't play fucking baseball!" A director mistreating an inherently campy premise is how we wind up with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter instead of Shaolin Soccer. As a side note, my problems with this jumping plot have nothing to do with the fact that I have a vertical leap that makes me jealous of Benedict Cumberbatch.