Movie Review — Avatar

by Ryan on December 21, 2009

in Anything Else,Politics,Pop Culture

Because of all the snow and craziness of this past weekend, I only now finally got to see possibly the most anticipated movie of the holidays, James Cameron’s Avatar.  This movie cost roughly $300 million and was Cameron’s long-awaited dream vision of an epic story of his own creation;  his space opera, his Star Wars so to speak.  He had a vision and needed the technology to catch-up.  Sounds pretty cool.

But for a movie this expensive and a dream so long in the making, I felt this movie wasn’t up-to-par.

Visually, see it in 3-D, or better yet, IMAX 3-D.  Just see it.  Everyone must see this movie.  It will not look nearly as good on your home TV.  It just won’t.  It’s like frolicking through a lush forest during the day and a dancing through a black-light paradise at night.  Pretty sweet.  Cool explosions and seamless special effects make for great eye-candy.  It was worth the ticket price just for that experience.

But, I’m not twelve.  I need a thoughtful storyline, too.  That’s where this movie falls short, like I feared it may have.  Some reputable fan-boys really liked the storyline (and they are very hard to please), but it’s a little paralysis by analysis to read their reviews.  This cigar was just a cigar.

Here’s my thought:  James Cameron could have just taken Dances With Wolves, hooked Lt. Dunbar to the Matrix, painted the Sioux blue, and given the US Cavalry missiles.  It would have saved most of the $300 million and (sprinkle in a little Braveheart) and you got yourself the 160-minute Avatar.

I’ve seen this movie many times before; they just called it something else.  The movie boils down to this:  state-of-nature natives are disrupted by the evil capitalist pigs [yawn] and what looks like to be mindless US Marines who ruin the native’s pristine Mother Earth (in this case Pandora) and might just get their comeuppance. [longer yawn]  Superb special effects and some good moments now and then deserve an A. A 2009 retread of a dozen movies and TV specials you’ve already seen: C-.

The gist: seeing Avatar is more important than expecting anything groundbreaking from the story of this film.

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