Avatar (2009)Tuesday, 26. January 2010
If you live on earth, you probably know that Avatar is the newest James Cameron movie, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Giovanni Ribisi. And if you live on earth and like going to the movies, you’ve probably already seen this film.
Some time in the future, there’s a space station on the planet Pandora where the humans are mining for a valuable mineral. To ameliorate the relations with the humanoid inhabitants, the Na’vi, the military has developped a program where a few people get avatars – Na’vi bodies humans can steer.
One of the people with avatars is Jake Sully (Sam Worthington). He quickly develops a friendship with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), one of the Na’vi. But when the tension between the humans and the aliens becomes stronger, Jake will have to decide.
Avatar looks beautiful. And that’s where the good things stop. The story is crap. Ridiculous crap. The acting is so-so. The music is pompous. Actually, the whole film is pompous. Not to mention racist and ableist and just plain bad.
The technology really is impressive. As is the design of the world and anything visual. For the first half hour of the movie, I was perfectly content just to watch. Unfortunately, after that I was stuck for two and a half hours foaming about the stupid, offensive story.
In fact, to put it with David Cox in Avatar shows cinema’s weakness, not its strength:
It cost hundreds of millions of dollars. It was four years in the making. Its facial performance capture system alone took 18 months to perfect. In spite of gloomy prognostications, the end product looks staggering. Nonetheless, Avatar fails in one rather important respect. By common consent, its story’s rubbish.
There are many people who have written about Avatar and said the things I want to say. Still, let me reiterate:
- It’s racist. I mean, Noble Savages? Really? Didn’t I already critisise that in Australia? Does nobody ever listen to me? [Dances with the Smurfs still cracks me up, though.]
- It’s ableist. Loads of Miracle Cures (TM) and of course, you can only be happy and live a fulfilled life if your body’s functioning perfectly. Yeah… no.
- I initially thought that it was sexist, too. But it seems that I misunderstood some things (or deadra and me saw two slightly different movies), so I’m not going to say it anymore until I see the movie again. Which, in all likelihood, will be never.
But apart fomr the politics behind the film, there was the quality of it… I mean, excluding the technological side, everything was sub-par. The acting was absolutely mediocre (to be fair, none of the actors had much to work with. It’s hard to play clichés). The music was overbearing and it was much too long.
I went with my brother-in-law who quite liked it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help myself and was a total buzzkill, arguing the entire ride home why this movie sucked so much. I’m guessing we won’t be going to the movies anytime soon again. :)
Anyway, if you really want to see it, try to catch it in the cinema – because watching it on a small screen really defeats the whole purpose.