Avatar Review

January 6, 2010 · 4 minutes read

Suz and I saw Avatar this past weekend, 3D IMAX.

I really enjoyed it, but I couldn’t help watching with a critical eye. I think most people have just been so wowed by the spectacle and technology that they’re calling this a great movie when it definitely has some plot holes and/or character flaws.

The 3D was quite awesome. It’s by far the best movie I’ve ever seen done in 3D. The glasses were somewhat annoying but tolerable.

What makes this special is that absolutely everything was shot in 3D… live action, CGI, all in 3D. It’s not a gimmick (or *just* a gimmick).

That said, it’s still not going to be the Next Big Thing in movies (as 3D has been hyped to be – in the 50s, before in my life, and now again with this movie). It’s beautiful, interesting, but it’s not really helping the storytelling. Given the expense, it doesn’t seem likely that anyone is going to go through such an effort to do this again anytime soon… anyone that isn’t named Jim Cameron, at least.

I loved the Colonel. Great bad ass. Sigourney also fit her role well.

Spoilers Below

So my complaints with the plot:

– They never explain how the link is made between the human and the avatar. One presumes some sort of electromagnetism (since there’s no other option in our current universe). Yet when they went to the Magic Floating Mountains, the link still works? Of course this had to be done, else it would have been a trivial matter to find the humans after they went rogue; if the avatar and human can link, then that human is emitting something that would be easy for the other humans to find. The whole thing was a little bit of hand-waving that I’m prepared to accept, though.

– Michelle Rodriquez’s character is essentially a marine pilot. She trained with the people she flies with and fights with. She depends on her comrades with her life, and they depend on her. War historians have shown time and time again that the reason people give when they fight in horrible battlefield conditions is “for the man next to me”. Not for country, not for honor… but for the men they fight with. That man is your brother, and you are his. You will give you life to save his, and vice versa.

She may have thought what was going on was bullshit, and maybe she wouldn’t pull the trigger on innocent natives. Maybe even she’d bust out the Good Guys to go help the Space Elves. However, no way do I see her actually opening fire and killing her own people. It could happen, but Cameron didn’t give us a reason to believe it.

– How is it that in the first half of the movie, all the arrows bounced off the ships, but then started to penetrate in the final battle scene. Did they get armor piercing arrows?

– Why in the fuck would the armor battle suit (a la Aliens) have a huge armor battle suit knife in its holster? If a knife was ever actually necessary, the gun ALREADY HAD ONE.

– So the Space Elves have a ceremony where the spirit of a human can be transformed into the body of a human engineered half-breed creature by Gaia (or whatever the Pandora mother spirit was called)? This has come up before?

– Clearly the Space Elves were patterned off the modern myth of the Native American in harmony with mother nature. This is a myth, as it turns out that Native Americans were pretty brutal to the local ecology… they just moved on when an area was decimated, and they simply didn’t have the numbers to do any serious damage to such a vast area. I’m just sayin’.

– The Space Elves were pretty fucking stupid. Hey, huge war machines are rolling into your house. You’re going to wait until it’s ON FIRE and FALLING before you get the fuck out? Makes you wonder if Darwin’s rules don’t apply on Pandora.

Again, it was a fun movie, it was interesting. It was done extremely well. It was pretty. It’s just not a *good* movie; it’s not going to stand the test of time.