I finally watched Avatar, because some people wouldn’t shut up about how great the movie is. I normally avoid mega-hits like this as if they were the plague, but I tried to be unbiased going in. And guess what? It was a terrible movie: Terrible characters, weak pacing, crappy story, bad world-building, predictable plot, and a garbage pop song after the inevitable and totally obvious ending.

Last time I listen to your advice, Internet!

There are some specks of light in the deep darkness that is Avatar, though: The marine Colonel was cool (the actor basically revisited this role in Terra Nova, where he was also one of the few highlights). Some of the visuals were very impressive, especially the landscape. And the Mecha were pretty awesome; use these for a Starship Troopers remake, please.

I gotta say I am in awe that this thing became a blockbuster. Marketing, I guess, coupled with the inherent stupidity of the unwashed masses – the same reasons Harry Potter became a hit.

Some specifics:

  • The movie couldn’t decisde what it wanted to be, and in the end turned out to be Science Fantasy. You know, a fairy tale. Definitely not science fiction, no matter how far you stretch the term.
  • Unobtanium is a sci fi joke. Don’t make a joke a central plot point, unless you intend to go for silly. It may seem cool at the moment you write it, but the joke quickly wears itself out.
  • Floating mountains? Yeah. Okay. Outland called and wants its pebbles back.
  • If the guidance systems and even simple radar do not work, then how can the electronics needed to connect Sully to his Avatar work? This is a plot hole big enough to fly an entire fleet of those big-ass transport planes through
  • A daisy cutter is an actual bomb, the BLU-82. Why do they have to use palettes of dynamite 140 years in the future, if they have access to pretty much every other toy in the catalogue?
  • None of the Na’vi should have survived the felling of the Home Tree, and frankly, the movie would have been better for it.
  • Please hide your native Americans and their alien horses better next time, or at least don’t claim hitherto unseen heights of world-building if you can’t deliver

Oh well, at least now I can talk back the next time someone tries to coerce me into watching something.

4 thoughts on “Avatar

  1. I’ve found that if a movie doesn’t go exactly as most people expect it to go, people hate it. Personally those are my favorite but they always do horribly in the box office.

    To ask for a different result would be to ask for a change in the nature of people.

    P.S. Please keep asking.

  2. I’d probably be okay with the obvious way the movie ended had the route there been interesting. Unfortunately, it really wasn’t – just kind of pretty to look at.

  3. Sheesh, sorry I ever said anything 😉 What impressed me was that they did craft a complete working language for the Na’vi. I also saw it in 3D and the Home Tree burning/explosion was awesome. I seriously kept trying to swat away the drifting ash in the theatre.

    I like the “Indian-ness” of it, but I have a soft spoke as an anthropologist. I hadn’t thought of the fact that nothing worked except his Matrix bed.

  4. I can’t see 3d even in real life so that’s completely lost on me. Still, it was a visually beautiful movie. It just needed some sort of story. And originality. And I will admit to being jealous of the budget they had 😉

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