Sunday, June 20, 2010

Just Watched: Avatar


I feel like an old curmudgeon having to write this review because the story on Avatar has already been written and my views fall on the wrong side of popular opinion.  I love good science-fiction and I love good fantasy but, to me, Avatar was neither.  I didn't watch it in 3D or on a big screen but I don't really think either would have helped.  My problem with the movie wasn't the quality of the visuals, it was the lame story and ridiculous settings.

Believe it or not I've never seen 'Dances with Wolves' so I can't even complain that Avatar is a rehash of that - as I've heard it is from numerous sources - what I can complain about is the generic characterizations and bland story arc.  I did not give a damn about any of the characters.  Not a single one.  I wasn't impressed with the 'noble savages'.  I did not feel for the 'hero' trying to do the right thing but being pulled between two worlds.   I did not hate the 'corporate shill' whose greed knew no bounds.  The characters were all thin shadows of tired cliches.  There was absolutely nothing new going on in any of their heads.  It pains me that someone with a budget as big as Avatar had would invest so little in story.  It's mind fucking boggling.

My second complaint was with the shot designs.  It's cool that CGI is so advanced you can basically create any world you can imagine and I realize this is a 3D movie but does every setting have to have the most ridiculous layers of stuff that the characters need to move through.  Before the movie was half over I tired of the crazy cliffs, the webs of giant vines and the silly floating mountains being in every damn scene.  Given the over-the-top nature of the visuals I'm actually surprised there weren't flying sharks that shot lasers out of their eyeballs cause, you know, that would be fucking awesome.

There were some good bits during the excessive bore-a-thon.  I thought the way the aliens connected via their tentacle thing was neat and I liked the way the little fibers grew out of the ground, like a fungal bloom. I thought those were neat details but they certainly didn't save the film for me.  Honestly, I hated it.

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