Artificial Continuum

Friday, December 18, 2009
Many people have ranted the past week about the "revolutionary" film Avatar. Having just finished the movie, I shall take a stab at a review.

Avatar follows the story of a cripple named Jake who goes to the planet Pandora to help mine a substance called unobtanium. Now, I'm not really sure why they want this unobtanium so much, because they only mention they can sell it for large amounts of money and never mention any of its actual purposes (I was taking an exciting trip to the Men's room during the begininning, though, so perhaps I missed it). So he somehow gets his mind put into an alien so he can go learn about their culture, which is to say a completely stereotypical Native American culture. He spends time there, then shit hits the fan, and... Yes, this movie is completely predictable. Let me sum it up for you. Imagine the Europeans first coming to America. Now imagine this in space. Now imagine that instead of all the natives being forced west, they assembled into a rag-tag team of underdogs that manage to win the camp games against those snooty bastards from the rich camp down the creek. I hate to say (Oh, who am I kidding, I love to say it) the story is completely hackneyed and left me bored to tears.

But what about story on the personal level? Well, the main character tries to make everyone love everyone else everywhere by means of intense action scenes and explosions. The main love interest hates the protagonist, then loves him, then hates him, then loves him some more again. And the bad guy makes stupid jokes constantly while killing baby puppies who are just looking for snuggles.

"What? You say that both the overall story and the personal story suck ass in Avatar?" you might be wondering to your silly little selves. Yes, in a nutshell, that is what I am saying. The only real redeeming factor to the movie is the special effects. They look magnificent. I cannot deny it. Though I can complain that they have nicely nestled into the uncanny valley and that whenever they are shown right next to a normal human actor, look quite unreal. I also heard quite a bit of praise about the creative creatures James Cameron has created in the film. I must disagree. Almost every single creature in that movie is simply a normal animal, minus fur, plus a few extra limbs, and then with some random tentacles and flappy-things pasted on for good measure.

The filming and directing is done very well. You won't ever be scratching your head wondering what happened, mainly because the story is so simplistic you'll never really need to think about it.

The music was certainly unremarkable, and I have already forgotten all of it less than two hours after the viewing.

Avatar is by no means bad. I wouldn't really call most of it good, and the only thing that is really great is the special effects. And that is my suggestion: go watch it because its pretty. There's not much there besides beautiful environments and blue alien boobies.


Nick said...

I have a feeling the next podcast will be interesting. My only major complaint I have is that the alien creatures are well very well designed. They do fit the environment of Pandora well and seem like things that would be likely to evolve in such an area. I mean seriously, the only true relations they had to creatures on Earth were how they fit into ecological archetypes like alphapredator, large herbivore, etc. The Banshee are like dragons, but since those never existed I fail to see your point.