December 17, 2009, - 1:51 pm

Don’t Believe the Hype: “Avatar” Stinks (Long, Boring, Unoriginal, Uber-Left)

By Debbie Schlussel

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.

avatar

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?

Same difference.

“Avatar” is an intelligence test.  If you fell for it, you failed.

FOUR MARXES PLUS AN OBAMA
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217 Responses

This was the very first movie in which I fell asleep in my whole life! I was so bored that within 25 minutes I was sound asleep. I woke up to find my 16-year-old daughter asleep next to me and people around us giggling because I had been snoring! We were incredibly disappointed by the movie. We almost walked out, but waited for the entire movie to see if it got better. It never did. We did enjoy the 3-D effects, and hope more movies have them in the future.

bradpittwantsme on March 7, 2010 at 8:53 am

The Movie Sucked. I totally hate cameron and his self-serving anti-american propaganda. Being that he is country that totally relies on us and we rely on them Canada. I am sure this does wonders for Canadian/American relations.
But What has me Concerned about people like you more so then directors like Cameron.

Is your demented and warped pronographic reponse to the lead avatars character. Are youb on Medication? Are do you have chemical imbalances in your brain

If anything the bodies are what supposed to see and children since for 10 trillion year have been aware of it. Secondly,there is nothing that is anymore risque then a baby doll a GI-Joe doll. It’s as inanimate as a undimensional as blade of Grass. I don’t know you but if anybody else would have said that I would have thought they need “Help”! And I am not convinced you don’t .

And it would not have made a difference if they running around stark naked having hedonistic and gratuitous sex. Actually that probably would have made me want to Puke, seeing SLIMEY, UGLY, GREEN SLUG PEOPLE ENGAGE THE BIOLOGICAL ASPECT OF HAVING SEX WOULD NOT TURN ME ON. My eight year-old nephew would laugh his ass off. “Uncle ‘D’, What the Hey, are those.”

It was the most insulting and boring film to grace our presence in years. It was almost as bad as that “Wishy-Washy” film Aabout those WATER Aliens, “THE ABYSS” . CAMERON SUCKS!! AND YOU DON’T A HAVE CLUE. HE IS ONE RUDE ASSANINE IDIOT!! Yeah, I like one of the lines one of the corporate divng company say to the Navy Captains, “Well, it looks like you’re about to be put out of business!” Of course moron we all are they were threatening to wipe out most of the world’s population with Mega-Tidal waves. Cameron needs to wake-up like the people who in the Avatars. But why would he he makes too much money.

gogogadget on March 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    You sir are an idiot. Before the next time that you decide to grace us with your “wisdoms” perhaps you can pick up a book and read it. Take notes on how words are spelled and how to structure a sentence. I know golden back books are challenging, but they offer the remedial and educational resources that may move you in the right writing direction. Avatar did suck, but dont argue with or chastise someone smarter than you. I dont even know you, but after reading your post I think you’re a fucking moron.

    TreDimes on April 13, 2010 at 12:03 am

There have been few, if any, original films for years now. I didn’t expect an original story so I guess I’m not as upset as you seem to be. I wanted to see it for the CG and I felt that it reminded me of the marshy jungle in the first Halo game. Let’s face; it as unoriginal as the movie is, it still was a sight to see.

xj on March 22, 2010 at 12:23 am

A visually wonderful movie. But you are correct. I would call it a technological monster. I wanted to enjoy it so much but my logical mind kept taking over.. What a waste :(

Gary - Dallas TX on April 24, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Debbie, Do you still think that “capitalism and freedom in America are strong”? I believe this movie is a warning, not an intelligence test. If you think everything in America today is Kosher, than you have less intelligence than anybody who went and saw the movie. If you do NOT understood the meta-message they are warning you about, you have FAILED the intelligence test, and will be in the dark when Martial Law takes over, & commerce ends as we know it…Remember the USSR, where people had to wait in line for toilet paper? Whoever thinks we are NOT on the road to becoming a 3rd world Banana Republic, FAILS the intelligence test and should go back to public school to get dumber, because your hopelessly clueless.

Who cares? on April 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    If you get your political warnings from a movie then you shouldnt be allowed to vote. This movie is another lame political parallel that obviously bashes America and the most awful country ever. Its unoriginal and complete drivle. If you liked the movie or the weak underlying stupid plot then by the over priced DVD and leave America, go to a 3rd world country and get AIDs. Peace.

    Corey on April 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

    You are an idiot the USSR had a system much closer to what Obama and the rest of you anti-Americans are HOPING for. I pray that CHANGE never happens because if it does we will see the fall of the USA.

    Mitch on April 29, 2010 at 12:58 am

If you are the type of person that thinks that a fictional movie made bye the liberal idiots in Hollywood is there to warn you then please kill yourself before the next election. It is people like you that someone can say HOPE and CHANGE and you jump on it like a porn addict holding a Penthouse.

Mitch on April 29, 2010 at 1:04 am

What are you people idiots? This movie was the best movie I have ever seen, how can you fall asleep? It was just plan… AWESOME. I can’t say much more than just frigging’ awesome.

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dsadsa on June 2, 2010 at 3:40 am

I also was very disappointed with Avatar. I just watched it for the 1st time on dvd. First of all I found the story confusing. I understand the basics, but I felt like they didn’t really explain what was going on right from the beginning.

I thought the audio mixing was horrible. I had to constantly adjust the volume on my tv about ever 30 seconds. It goes from whispering to screaming which is very annoying. The scenes that cut back and forth very widely in volume.

The visuals were ok I thought, but this day in age, special effects are not special anymore. You need a good story and good acting to make a good movie.

I did not like any of the characters in this movie, not even the main character. If you are going to make a huge movie like this, at least get some likable characters.

It’s funny how many viewers fell asleep during this movie. I did too! I was about 2 hours into it and dozing off. Next thing I know, I wake up and the movie is back at the menu screen. I did not bother watch the end because I don’t even care what happened.

How did this movie get such good reviews? Maybe it was better in theaters because of the effects.

Brendan on August 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm

If you fell for debbie schlussel you failed.

who? on August 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm

When you go into a movie trying to hate it, yeah, you’re gonna say a lot of retarded things about it. I can admit that the story is derivative of other Pocahontas stories we all know and love and that it’s a colorful, beautiful ooh-ahh… but I still liked it because I’m not a condescending twunt that doesn’t know how to watch movies.

DERP.

Ixåô on August 26, 2010 at 2:42 am

Yeah, I hated “Avatar,” too. One thing that I have found most annoying about the movie is the chorus of praise for its “scientific accuracy.” So I thought it would be useful to just make an archive showing that the movie is not science-fiction; it’s science mixed with fantasy. I made a series about the flawed science of “Avatar.” Check it out:
http://geektwins.blogspot.com/search/label/flawed-science

Monkey Migraine on October 30, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I wholeheartedly agree. Avatar was a snoozer if I’ve ever seen one. I had a headache after 15 minutes of trying to watch the terrible 3D and it carried through the entire movie. The story was completely unoriginal. It was also more predictable than an episode of Scooby Doo. 3 hours? Yuck. This tops King Kong on the boring scale for sure.

Robert Whorton on November 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Ooh, I’m glad it’s not just me! Watched Avatar last night and within an hour started getting fidgety and just plain BORED!

How many times do I want to watch blue things flying around on bird things?? Yes the effects are stunning but the story is confusing and to me the characters (cartoons!) shallow and unlikeable. So I never found out what happened in the end and to be honest don’t really care.

Cinnamon on December 27, 2010 at 7:15 am

Well, I loved it; too bad I failed the almighty test of intelligence. Thing is, it could have been very heavy-handed; I sincerely hope it’s not pro-Arab. What I took was the importance of humility, nature, love, and beauty; I often take what I want from things, even if it’s not completely what the original creator intended. But maybe this is the advantage of being refreshingly absent from constant political thinking: I just enjoyed the deeper messages of the movie. As a Christian I saw many spiritual truths, and to hell with political agenda from either side. God help Cameron if he promoted Arab junk in this film, but I didn’t see this.

If this movie reflects anything in history it was our obvious treatment of the Natives (which happened in exactly the brutal way the film described), not the Arabs. Critics may be interested in some of the companion books to the movie, which take us back to Earth in this future world and fascinatingly showcase an underground group of people fighting the corrupt government. Which, if anything, sounded rather liberal.

Jennifer on December 29, 2010 at 9:35 pm

I agree, it was a snooze. I just watched it this afternoon and I fell asleep. For logic’s sake, wars go on all the time. It’s not only people of European descent that have gone on conquests, and when they did, they weren’t bloodthirsty marauders.

This movie really was ‘Dancing with Smurfs’.

I think James Cameron should volunteer himself to be scalped by an American Indian and see if he still thinks they’re nothing but a noble people who can do no wrong. This isn’t meant as an insult to American Indians, but anyone who knows history doesn’t fall for the ‘evil whitey’ sensationalism.

Chad on April 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Just looking at the trailers was enough for me to know NOT to see this piece of trash.

Tommy T on July 30, 2011 at 9:21 pm

So, you guys seem to hate special effects, love stories, and wild new animals( I just love the plant life myself, and the unique hair plug in feature)….Yes, the story line sucks…but to answer your barely asked question, brits and their descendants did genocide the natives. Just look at any latin country, full of indians, and look here ,virtually none. it may have been because the protestants felt that the natives didnt have souls( or so they say)…
if this is true, then it is a great example of how underlying philosophies determine behavior…

..the blah blah about the spanish conquest seems to be british propaganda, in retrospect.
michael

Michael on October 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm

In this postmodern era we find ourselves, defined mainly by the rampant existentialism and deconstructionism, we should no longer base our opinions of art on the author’s intent. We no longer ask ourselves questions like “What do you think the author was thinking or feeling?” or “what do you think was the author’s intent?” The proper question to ask is “How does it make you feel?”

In the movie we see an evil military comprised of humans from somewhere in space (I don’t know weather or not they actually said these humans were from earth, but that is besides the point.) Lets say these people were from earth. How do we know they weren’t from a country run by the future Hitler. If the humans in the movie spoke German and dressed like Nazis would you feel better about it? We don’t really know anything about these people other than the fact that they are evil. Is it suggested in the movie that ALL people from their planet are evil? It sure isn’t.

It is fine not to enjoy a movie. But it isn’t alright when you say it is because of this imaginary premise that you have made up in your head. The only message the movie has is the message that we give it.

The 3d in the movie was simply the best that has been done before or since. Even if you don’t like the overall look of the film, that has nothing to do with the 3d aspect of it.

I’m not sure how much of the movie you slept through, so I will clarify something for you. They were using the avatars to try to negotiate with the natives. The original goal was to figure out what the humans could offer in exchange for mining rights, not to, “try to get them to cooperate and sympathize with the human goals,” like you stated above.

JD on October 13, 2011 at 1:18 am

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