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Avatar (movie review)

Why does Avatar exist? It’s the most pointless movie ever because it’s really just several flicks that everyone already saw cobbled together but taking place on an alien planet instead of earth.

I imagine James Cameron wanted to make a Michael Bay movie that wasn’t terrible. In that sense, Avatar is a triumph, but it’s the most redundant flick I’ve ever seen. (I feel like I’m going to be throwing the word ‘ever’ around a lot in this post, so please accept my apologies in advance.) But mostly, the movie treats the audience like an idiot with it’s sloppy writing, it’s bloated scenes which ultimately leads the viewer bored. I can’t remember the last time I was so uncomfortable in a movie theater – that is, I can’t remember the last time (before or since) I was so anxious for a movie to end.

Oh, yes I can; it was Armageddon.

And in this scene, Armageddon is, at best, paying homage to The Right Stuff. I get the feeling that James Cameron saw Michael Bay making a zillion dollars off a lazy piece of crap like this and wondered why he risked his life diving to the wreckage of the actual Titanic. “There’s got to be a simpler way,” he thought. Hence, Avatar. This movie was James Cameron’s plan to again become “King of the World,” but not have to freeze his butt off on wet sets.

Anyway, I didn’t like Avatar. Here’s why.

Jeez, where to begin? So… many…. reasons! I hate the the setting, the production design, the dialogue, the weak details, the one dimensional story and characters… But I really hate Avatar mostly because it’s redundant and bloated. (Three hours!)

The characters are weak.
Sigourney Weaver is in this movie because she was in Gorillas in the Mist and the Alien franchise, so she’s got hippie save the earth and sci-fi street cred. But even her character (despite her performance) is still boring and uninteresting. Then you have the Antagonists:

“Mr. I’m The Corporate Bad Guy” and “Captain I’m the Other Bad Guy” are the least interesting villains in an action movie ever. There only purpose in the movie is to push the plot along. I don’t hate them, so I don’t care if the Protagonist triumphs over them or not.

Then there’s the real problem: Mr. Avatar is the least interesting hero ever. I can’t even remember his name. His story arc is so obvious even the blind could jump out of the way before it hit the audience in the face.The real problem here is I don’t care about him, so I don’t care about the movie. I almost care about… you know, what’s her name – Blue Pocahontas, but yeah, her Pocahontas-ness kinda offends me. I do like that she’s a badass, though.

Oh, and Pocahontas’s friend – could he be any more Wind In His Hair?

The Visuals Get Old Fast
Plants and stuff glow on this planet – I get it. The movie doesn’t need to remind me in every scene! Some of the flying animal stuff is cool, but there’s too much of it. And the battle scene at the end… the audience knows it’s coming because it’s in every trailer for the movie, so you just sit there for two and half hours waiting for it… it’s maddening.

The bad guys live in a sterile environment; everything is gray and boring. The good guys live in a green, glow and the dark fantasy world… this motif worked so well in Star Wars, but I guess Avatar went too far, because here, it’s just really annoying.

Oh, and the mech suit with the big knife… I just… I can’t. Let’s move on.

Oh My God, The Writing!
“Unobtainium” is the worst name for a macguffin ever. I think we can all agree on that.

“I have to get in the avatar coffin… my eyeballs are twitching.” I don’t understand why the filmmakers thought we needed to see Mr. Avatar get into the avatar coffin thing (followed by a shot of his ‘dream eyes’) every time he went to go drive his avatar. I lost count, but it’s a lot – I’m pretty sure James Cameron thinks I’m an idiot.

The “We need to fight the marines” montage was, for me, the last straw. I was trying t keep an open mind, but once we had to watch Mr. Avatar go around and convince the other Naive tribes to fight, my patience (and my butt, for that matter) was exhausted. Did anyone think there was a chance Mr. Avatar wouldn’t be able to convince the other Naive to fight? This is why Avatar is three hours long.

In general, the movie is too predictable. The hero’s journey is too obvious for a 90 minute movie, but for a movie twice that long, it’d damn torturous. Seriously, on some level, this movie is a hate crime – and I’ve barely touched on the racial elements. Anyway, once Mr. Avatar starts learning about “The Colors of the Wind” from Ms. Naive, the movie’s on a collision course with wasting three hours of your time.

Everyone is Too Simple
The corporation, marines and the Native Pandorians (or whatever, The Naive People) all have the same problem: they’re all one dimensional. The corporation guy is all, “I’m so greedy! They’re just trees!” and the marines are too, “That’s how you scatter the cockroaches!” and the The Naive are to

That. The Naive have less dimension than animated Pocahontas.

(And yes, I know I’m not spelling Naive right. But then, maybe the screenwriter is just making a joke at the expense of his audience… hmm?)

So, do you think this movie has an anti corporate, anti military, pro environmental/conservation message? If you answered, “No,” please stop reading this and dial 911. You are having some kind of embolism episode – either the embolism in your brain just popped or it’s pressing on something… I’m saying get to a doctor right now, or this movie will hit you over the head with it’s message harder than –

You get it.

The formula for this movie:
Dances with Wolves + Pocahontas + Aliens + Titanic + Michael Bay styled explosions = Avatar

You see what I mean about this movie being like other movies? It’s not just me.

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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on October 24, 2014, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Couldn’t agree more/ most overrated scifi movie ever! But then again I actually like Prometheus so what do I know? 😉

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