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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Avtar - Review

Avatar: A review.
A tale of Love, deceit, and Blue tree people

Ahh, James Cameron never failing to impress (at least visually) has given us some of the greatest movies of all time: Terminator 1 and 2, aliens and of course Titanic, the latter of which is debatable as I feel it's kind of mediocre. So it was no surprise that people were taken in by blue aliens called the Na'vi and their home planet of alderon err Pandora. Yes, this review is late, but coming back from the "Special rerelease" with the added footage (that they decided not to put into the blu-ray) I thought I might review it now.
As we all know avatar made a boatload of money in the box office (Around $753,773,889 domestic) but despite is very good special effects, the movie felt way to familiar and cliché to be worth even half of its gross. The Story focus on Jake sully a injured marine who is offered an opportunity to repair his legs if he goes on a mission to Pandora originally meant for his brother who died, accepting of course he is shipped into space and the audience is treated to the 3d spectacle of marines in space waking up from cryofreeze, which I admit was very cool looking in the theater.
In 3d, it made me a bit dizzy from the prospective

once on the planet he is informed he will be piloting hybrid creatures called avatars that were bred from human and na'vi dna and he will be controlling them in with SCIENCE. Before that we are introduced to a very stereotypical military coronal Quaritch, played by Steven Lang, who heaps on the jarhead talk and can't help but give away the fact that he is going to be the main antagonist. The good coronal offers to get his legs fixed if he gets the skimmy on the native population, even though he was already going to get his legs back just from doing the job making that whole scene pointless in everything but showing the coronal to be an obvious villain.
                                                      Do I look Stereotypical enough? Cause im the villain Huur Duur
Then we are introduced to the scientist, Ellen Ripley, err Sigourney weaver playing Dr. Augustine who like all scientists is only concerned with getting samples which she makes a point of saying often and is also anti-corporation yet is working for a corporation  she knows is only in it for the money. so far we have 2, 1 dimensional characters, I hope your keeping track. So the good Dr. goes to complain about the fresh meat to Giovanni Ribisi who plays the overseer to the whole operation (he plays the Paul Reiser from aliens in this film whose main purpose is to let the audience know that the corporation is evil and they want to rape the land. The difference being we never get to see Giovanni carried away by aliens to an off camera death) Like all the characters he lets them know he is another villain by clearly explaining that the only  reason they are there is to gather minerals and screw everything else, but not before exploiting the obvious money shot in 3d with hitting a golf ball into a cup IN 3D!!
It's Like golf, but in 3D!!

Once the character introductions are made we are treated to a pretty good looking 3d spectacle with the planet really coming alive. It really is good looking. About 30 minutes in we are introduced to the native population and of course they are as good as you can be, the na'vi are in tune with the planet via USB slots in their hair that can go online in the planet through trees and I guess surf the web for dead relatives. That's one of my biggest gripes is this film is so cut and dry good and bad with no gray moral dilemma to challenge the viewer. The corporation is Obvious bad, and the na'vi and obviously good there is no middle ground it would have been nice if they would have added that earth needed the "Unobtainium" to continue to produce energy and survive till a habitable world was found or something to create a moral dilemma in the characters that would have made them challenge their own beliefs about whether they were doing the right thing or not in helping the natives. But instead we have a cliché story about a man who was sent to do a mission and falls in love with one of the natives who trains him dances with wolves style and through his interacting he begins to love the people and eventually has hair sex with one of them, in one of the most bizarre scenes ever.
Of course eventually the military decides to move in and take down the World Tree from final Fantasy 9, which is met by probably the most unintentionally funny moment, which was all the na'vi crying about the tree (now yes, I realize that they lost their home and some family, but it just screamed fern gully) It was also as if James Cameron was sitting there giving you an environmental psa about cutting of the rainforest. Either way our heroes are then locked up for, reason not given. but set free and set off to the mountains to get to a remote location where no one could find them or track them. Unfortunately Ripley gets shot and is in serious need of medical help, so naturally they take her to a tree sacred to the natives in hopes of copying her body into another folder, but after she blue screens, Jake gives a stirring message about freedom and taking the land back but only two quotes kept coming into my head during those scenes "This is PANDORA!" and "They can take our land but they can never take our FREEDOM!". this of course rally's the troops and they set off to gather other villages to aid in the fight.
With the final battle immanent the coronal delivers a really stupid speech to a bunch of redneck looking troops who eat every word. He talks about fighting terror with terror, which I guess the na'vi are like Iraq. . . and the coronal is the us going to war with a helpless. . .I see what you did there Cameron, shame on you.
and so the final battle ensues and all awesome hell breaks out. At this point in the movie I really enjoyed looking at it, the battle was a ton of fun watch unfold. Carriers and Banshees taking on dragons and arrows = winnable fight I guess. But mainly I think the fight just served to kill off some of the side characters because of course there's the scene when all hope looks lost but the planet decides to control click its entire population and dump it on the troops, with of course a large cat bowing to Natiti.
After a long boring fight with the coronal who shows he's to badass for air, yet dies anyway in one of the most hilarious ways ever, not because of the manner, but because he had a big goofy smile on his face as he died. And with that the day is saved, and Jake decided he likes it better in the avatar body so he copies the content from his hard drive into his other body and it ends.
This movie was mediocre in every sense of the word, the plot was dumb cliché and lacked any moral dilemma with Cameron playing it safe making the corporation out to e the single most satanic entity alive willing to do anything to make a buck. the character development was weak and one dimensional with only one character making significant improvement and most other just playing stereotypical parts on just about every count. And it reeked of bad science (Floating mountains, with waterfalls they actually explained this in the movie by saying there was a lot of unobtainium on those that caused them to float, which made no se3nce because earlier they blatantly said the largest deposit was under the world tree, but that wasn't floating.). 
Floating mountains, makes perfect sense to me.

The movie felt too much like ferngully crossed with dances with wolves and Muppets in space, which would have been fine if he hadn't of ripped so much off, even going so far as to have a buffalo hunting scene (added) which sealed the deal.
Plus in the end we all know that the military would have came in and annexed the place easily because the minerals were probably too valuable to give up. But maybe that's the plot for Avatar 2: Electric buggaloo.
If I was going to give it a rating it would probably be 2.5/5 because to its credit the film looked great and it had some interesting themes laying under the clichés with decent acting given the roles. 

FINAL RATING: 2.5 Sleeping Avatars / 5
Now I want to see a matchup between John Dunbar and Jake Sully avatar form, that would be funny.
Maybe I can win by dancing with HORSES!


  1. Absolute shiity story. 3d and all were best but a movie without a good story is like a rich girl with a hairy face. eekkk

  2. he didnt go there originally with the promise of getting his legs back i think. the colonel promised him that.