Sunday, June 6, 2010

Review – Avatar

The big disadvantage to missing “the most popular movie of all time” in theaters is that for what seemed like months everyone was making Avatar references I didn’t completely get. The big advantage, however, is that it’s a lot easier to appreciate the picture for its own merits rather than for the hype. And it certainly has shortcomings. The story – especially the romance – is straight out of Ferngully. The effects are expensive, elaborate and occasionally impressive, but they create a world that’s half video game and half drug-addled day-glo from Spencer’s Gifts circa 1978. Most troubling, however, is the treatment of the conflict between the indigenous “savages” and the technologically sophisticated Earth people. The movie hedges its bets by simultaneously extolling the virtues of war and condemning its destructiveness. And despite the happy Custer’s Last Stand ending, I can’t help but wonder if a realistic Avatar 2 wouldn’t inevitably include a Wounded Knee destruction of the entire planet. Overall this wasn’t the worst blockbuster I’ve ever seen, but it didn’t merit all the hoopla either. Mildly amusing

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