Note: Possible spoilers/plot elements.
While watching Avatar, I was transported to a world outside the movie theater… A world of writing blog entries, trying to meet people in Lyon, teaching English, planning trips… A world of what might’ve been if I didn’t have to watch this colorful ball of crap.
I really, really hated the movie.
I have two types of recommendations (or dissuasions). One involves me saying that something blanketly sucks. The other has caveats. My take on Avatar involves the latter.
Caveat: If you enjoy another world that is created with a fully visualized reality, go out and see the movie. But, to do so, you will need to be content with zero characters of depth, a story as hackneyed and formulaic as they come, with completely invalid allegories and an entirely unmemorable score.
I have said it before: I am not a nature person. It takes a lot for me to be impressed, in general, but certainly by nature. The Iguazu Falls are cool. I haven’t cared about an island or a beach in quite some time. I love rainbows. Sunsets, I can take or leave. So for me to be drawn into a movie that is riding the coattails of its visuals, I needed something else. Try as I might, I could not find it.
Humor: I chuckled once, early on.
Character investment: By the end, I was cheering for who were supposed to be the bad guys. (Spoiler alert: the humans)
Allegories: The whole point is that the humans are trying to get a valuable mineral, the brilliantly named ‘unobtanium’. It seems to be a metaphor for Iraqi oil, which doesn’t work, as Iraq wasn’t a war for oil. Proof? An almost total lack of protection of oil fields.
They’ve set up a world where the locals really have nothing to gain from the humans intervening, which is a scenario that makes absolutely no sense in the real world. The movie criticizes the concept that the humans have been setting up schools and have tried to find ways to offer things to the natives. In the real world, whether you agree or disagree with the concept of nation building, impoverished nations generally can use some assistance from the outside world.
3D: I didn’t feel much more immersed because of it. There were times when I noticed it (because I was trying to see if it added), but otherwise, I feel like I would have been more engrossed had the movie been 2D and actually good. There were a couple times where it added something for me, such as showing the depth of the ship in the beginning and the floating jellyfish-like seeds of the Sacred Tree.
I will expound more, as necessary, counteracting anyone’s points of what was good about this movie, other than the visuals (which I will respect if you enjoy). I also will agree that potentially seeing it on IMAX would have made it grander, but that wasn’t an option for me, as it isn’t very easily accessible in Europe. I still do not think it would have changed much, as the film was otherwise antithetical to every reason I go to the movies.
Sure, I go to be transported to another world or to see my own world in a different way, but I need plot and characters to get me there.