I need to get this out up front: I hated this movie.
I. Hated. This. Movie.
Why? It was a crap movie.
It was boring.
It was boring because the story was dull and derivative and just more of the same-old same old.
And I was pissed off that I had to sit through nearly three frigging hours of it to find out why: the director and the screenwriter were the same person.
“Avatar” is crap the way the last “Star Wars” movie was crap: because they let the director write it.
Yes yes, it’s a fabulous 3-D event and all that, and yes it might prove to be an “important” film 50 years from now, but oh my yawn, I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Because I already knew what was going to happen, every step of the uninspired way:
- People from somewhere else wanting something that someone else has? Check.
- People from somewhere else willing to destroy all and sundry to get the thing but pretending they aren’t gonna? Check.
- People from somewhere else sending out a decoy to deceive the people having the thing? Check.
- Decoy finding he likes the way of the people having the thing? Check.
- Decoy falling for the daughter of the head people who have the thing? Check.
- Decoy deciding to fight for the people having the thing and ending up their leader? Check.
Okay, there’s the movie. You don’t have to go see it, because you’ve already seen it, a hundred times before.
As for the special CGI effects, what is the point of having “the machine that goes ‘ping!” if that’s all you got?
This wasn’t a movie, this was an uptake on “Fantasia” with words. Nifty visuals and re-imagined things in a newish type world. Too bad it wasn’t left at that.
And yes we did think ourselves very clever on the way home with our “‘Dances with Wolves meets ‘The Smurfs'” thing (although someone else was funnier with “Smurfahontas”), but all I could think of was, “This movie is just full of men doing violent destructive men things because there aren’t enough women around.”
There was nothing new in the story, no surprise twist at the end, no clever “right back atcha” Nature beat down of the machines and the People from Somewhere Else; I was so hoping that the, thing, the People from Somewhere Else toppled turned out to cause the destruction of the item that they came to the planet to get, a kind of a “Ha-ha-HA! Stupid man-people with your guns and heavy equipment, I am Nature!” thing. But nope, just the same old retelling of the pillaging of the earth and the attempted eradication of the local people, no matter that they were blue and very tall. And cat-like. Oo, very new, never been thought of before.
Director Cameron is a very good director, and by definition that makes him a very good story teller. But that does not translate into being a good screenplay writer. And that’s a shame, because for this movie-goer his entire effort was wasted by his failing to craft a story that grabbed me and made me care about what was happening to the characters.
If you do go see it—and that’s what you should do, just see it—you have to see it in 3-D, or else all your ticket money will be wasted.