What better way to spend my day off than to see a movie? So much has been said about James Cameron’s Avatar that I had to see for myself what all the fuss was about, so dutifully I waited in line for my ticket well aware that these blockbusters have an exponential way of sucking people in, even blockbuster sceptics like me.
What did I witness? Well..visually it was absolutely stunning, there’s no doubt about it. The graphics were beyond “state of the art” and into tomorrow. The creature animations while “realistic” were unfortunately typical of a populist movie money spinner: among others, dinosaurs passed off as alien fauna, nasty wolf-like critters baring their saliva dripping fangs, and blue aliens that conveniently had very human characteristics. With a little tweaking of my imagination I could get the distinct impression I was watching giant blue South American Indians spliced into “The Land That Time Forgot.” The dialogue was urban speak 2009 in a 2154 setting which I found to be annoyingly trite.
The storyline was tired and predictable and the actors’ characters were in the main stereotypical. I won’t be a spoiler so i’ll just say that the political overtones were more like a sledgehammer, so blatant was it a take on the War in Iraq. Combined with this was the old chestnut of multi-national corporations raping mother Earth, aided and abetted by the military/Marines. (The greenies will love it ) – Like all of us i’m concerned for the environment and wary of corporate greed but on these problems there needs to be far more expansive, measured thought put to the public rather than through the black and white stereotypical vehicle that is Avatar. In my opinion movie plots like this do us all a disservice by feeding people overly simplistic political notions.
It’s not all bad of course and well worth seeing for the visuals but by and large I was not impressed – I lament the passing of adult science fiction. The bar was set by Kubrik’s 2001 and it still hasn’t been challenged. Sadly these days Hollywood film producers insist on bleeding worn out formulas dry- no wonder it won the Golden Globe Award.
By all means go see it, the special effects are worth the price of admission..but do yourself a favour and leave your brain at home.