December 17, 2009, - 1:51 pm
If you want a Cliff’s Notes (or, I guess, Debbie’s Notes) version of my review of “Avatar,” refer back to my review of the just as awful (but about half as long) “The Battle For Terra,” (which was released in May). The story, plot, etc. of the two movies are exactly the same.
Despite the out-of-control hype over “Avatar,” the movie is silly, long, boring, and heavy-handed. And did I mention, sleep-inducing? I’ve heard other movie critics and reports say that the 3D animation in this movie is “the most visually stimulating movie I’ve ever seen,” “the best 3D ever,” “Oscar material,” “will change cinema forever,” “a Hollywood colossus,” and even that it “caused motion sickness.”
Don’t believe the hype. This bloated, highly overrated movie is none of these . . . with the exception of the “Oscar material” claims, since we know that the contemporary Academy Awards famously award far-left tripe like this. Did James Cameron really spend years of his life on this rotten stew?
Clocking in at nearly three hours, “Avatar” is an incredible waste of time. It’s essentially a remake of “Dances With Wolves” and every other movie where we evil Americans terrorize the indigenous natives, kill them, take their land, and are just all around imperialistically wicked and inhumane. Oh, and we’re destroying the environment, clearing precious giant trees and natural landscapes and killing rare animals and their habitats, in order to invade and harvest valuable substances under the ground. Sound familiar? Yup, just like a million diatribes from Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, and every other far-left outlet about how we invaded Iraq for oil.
Yes, “Avatar” is cinema for the hate America crowd.
And, like “Dances With Wolves,” there is, of course, the standard stock White male and/or human character who “becomes one of them” and sympathizes with their plight, begging the evil humans–or evil Americans, take your pick–to stop the invasion, destruction, and wholesale theft. It’s been in a million movies you’ve seen, including this summer’s far superior if equally heavy-handed and manipulative, “District 9″ (read my review).
The story: Sam Worthington (who was fantastic in “Terminator: Salvation” – read my review) plays Jake Sully, a paraplegic U.S. Marine, who was injured while at war. His twin brother, who died under other circumstances, was a scientist and part of a government project developing “avatars” for interaction with the native race of the planet Pandora (wow, what an original planet name). He’s not actually working for “the government” or “the military,” but a contractor a la Blackwater. Yes, the propaganda is that thinly-veiled.
The U.S. has invaded Pandora to harvest a valuable mineral beneath the earth. It is using the avatars–beings comprised of the mixed genetic material of their human operators and the alien race on Pandora–to communicate with the natives and try to get them to cooperate and sympathize with the human goals. Each avatar is controlled by the mind of the human possessing its DNA, while the human is “sleeping” inside a computer-equipped pod.
Jake is recruited because he has the same DNA as his deceased twin and, like his brother, resembles his avatar and can connect with it. The scientists are headed up by Susan “Sigourney” Weaver who plays her typical indignant, bitchy liberal self. Weaver is mad that the military people don’t want to understand and interact with the natives and instead want to harvest minerals instead of keeping the ancient trees that interact like computers with the other beings on the planet. But Jake is secretly working for the Marine General who wants to ship in, destroy the trees and the natives, and ship out, so we can save the dying earth, where “they’ve destroyed the mother” (meaning, Mother Earth).
Ultimately, though, Jake falls in love with one of the most prominent natives, the chief’s daughter, and learns to fly his flying dragon. He begins to oppose the Marine General. But it is too late. The soldiers are ordered in to start destroying Pandora’s nature and people.
Sound exciting to you? Trust me, I’m making it even more interesting than it is. I could barely stay awake. And the 3D isn’t as great as people are saying, either. Smurf-like natives made to look like overgrown American Indians, complete with warpaint, mohawks, and long ponytails (that have computer-like USB cable tendrils in them, which can communicate with nature–ludicrous). Does that sound like earth-shattering stuff to you? They looked like Jar Jar Binks with arrowheads. That’s not to mention the basically topless state of the female avatars, whose nipples are barely covered by a few strategically placed threads. Nice for a PG-13 flick with audiences sure to be populated by kids galore.
Sure, it was cool to see floating mountains and different animals and plants in bright colors. But ten minutes of that was enough. I didn’t need a full-course meal of three hours of America-hatred to go with it.
And I laughed a lot . . . at times that were supposed to be serious. To me, this joke of a movie was ridiculous in its absurdity and overt hating on Western civilization.
My father used to say that one can judge the strength of capitalism and freedom in a society by the level of creativity and originality in that society. “Avatar” is yet another loud, garish example from Hollywood that capitalism and freedom in America aren’t strong at all. It’s neither original nor creative.
It’s just a long bore. And a waste of your ten bucks. Not to mention three hours you’ll never get back.
Why drive to the movies, pay for tickets, and spend hours in a dark room, when you can just as easily read Noam Chomsky or the speeches of Hugo Chavez in the comfort of your own home and couch?
“Avatar” is an intelligence test. If you fell for it, you failed.
Tags: Avatar, Battle for Terra, Blackwater, James Cameron, movie review, Movie Reviews, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, smurfs, Susan "Sigourney" Weaver, Susan Weaver, The Battle for Terra