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Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Avatar - 2009
I usually like to share my passion for the filmmaking art by reviewing films that I like, or at the very least enjoyed. But I suppose that every once in awhile I have to put in a negative review, so I chose James Cameron's Avatar. I mean, if I am going to write a negative review, it might as well be one with an unpopular opinion right? I really don't see a point in writing a review for a film like The Last Airbender, or Vampires Suck, because everyone already knows what I am going to say. The movie sucked, 0/10. Now, enough rambling, and on with the review!
Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is taking the place of his brother, who recently died in a robbery, and accepting a mission to go onto the dangerous, but beautiful world of Pandora. Sully is in a wheel chair for life, but Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), a man that is against the Na'vi race as a whole, promises Sully his legs back if he completes a mission for him. However, a surprise comes to Sully when he gets there, as he is embraced by the Na'vi clan, and is beginning to enjoy his life in Pandora. Okay, I am going to stop there for a second before I go into more plot details. To me, this feels a bit like a mixture of Disney's Tarzan and Pocahontas. It is a shame really, Avatar is actually ripping both of those movies off completely, almost in the same way Cars rips Doc Hollywood off word for word. In his review of Avatar, popular critic Richard Roeper says "we're not here for the plot". Oh really? We aren't? Maybe the visuals are stunning, and of course a movie can overcome a bad plot and story, as there are plenty of other aspects to a movie. But to say you are not concerned about the plot, just to watch the awesome and technically brilliant visuals is ridiculous. Yes, Roeper, we are here for the plot, along with the entire movie.
Now, once we get more into the story is where I begin to question why I am even watching such garbage of storytelling. Grace (Sigourney Weaver) is one of the few characters in the story that wants to study the Na'vi race, not hunt them and use them for Earth's advantages. Sully is immediately assigned to go with her to Pandora for the first time, where he will get used to Pandora and become more effective as a spy. But when a dangerous creature attacks Sully, he is left alone for the night to take care of himself. This is where he meets Neytiri, who he begins to have feelings for and will eventually lead him to their clan. Though where the movie goes really wrong in my opinion, is the fact that none of these horribly hideous blue creatures have any clothes on the entire film, and they all mate with their tails. I am speechless, I honestly have nothing else to say on that point.
Before I trash the acting, I need to make it clear that I did not despise the film. In fact, there were a very many great things to it. For one, Avatar is one of the most visually beautiful films I have ever seen. The world of pandora was extremely well constructed, and on an artistic level is undeniably brilliant. As much as I did not enjoy the film as a whole, I can say I loved watching this visually astounding film, that would probably have been worth the 3-D, which cannot be said about many films. Avatar is a grounbreaking visual feast, but without that, taking into consideration all other aspects of the film, it fails. Take away the visuals, and my friends you have yourself a movie worth the rating of 0/10.
James Cameron's direction was not horrible, I will certainly admit to that. I think he is one of the more overrated directors of our time, but I do still have respect for him as a filmmaker, and he sure does know how to draw a crowd. A lot of work goes into his films, as well as this one, even if it is to make the film much too "hollywood" for some viewers, such as myself. The directing by Cameron works in ways, but it cannot hold up to the bland story that copies so many other films, Dances With Wolves being another one that I had not mentioned earlier. Personally, I would say I feel sorry for Cameron because the film's countless flaws were not only his fault, but he spent more money than any other person has on a movie, and made more than anyone else, so I think he's doing alright. Then again, he wrote the screenplay, so maybe it is all his fault.
Well I have already ripped into the story, but there is more to James Cameron's insanely ridiculous screenplay, that quite frankly tears into any film lover that has an ounce of knowledge of this art. I am not going to deny that it took me no less than about five sittings to finish this film, and the writing is one of the reasons why. A bad script is usually something I can get over, but here I felt like my ears were going to bleed. Titanic, in my opinion, is nowadays an underrated film, but the biggest problem was the terrible script. Ah, could it be a pattern? Ladies and gentlemen, I would certainly like to think so.
The acting was like pretty much the rest of the film, awful. The cast did not even have promise, Sigourney Weaver was the only person with the slightest bit of talent. And I even found her annoying, though I have never cared for her much. Sam Worthington was dreadful, I could not ask for a worse person to play the lead part. Maybe Taylor Lautner? No, Lautner isn't that bad. Worthington was not passionate, believable, likeable, or even enjoyable. He did not carry the film at all the way that a lead should, he only sunk the film as low as it could go, and then a tad lower. When I saw that Stephen Lang was playing the Colonel I almost turned the film off right in that moment. If I made a top 10 worst actor lists, he would be on it, and that's all I will say about his performance. Zoe Saldana puts on one of the most painfully annoying performances I have ever seen. She gets on my nerves more than any other actress, other than of course Kim Darby. Now as this review is turning into a rant, I will make my conclusion.
I don't need to go over anymore elements of this film, if you disagree, leave a comment, all opinions are welcome. Avatar is not one of the worst movies ever made, but boy is it one of the most overrated. I suppose though, that it is just the way of Hollywood. Spend money and advertise and people will watch your movie. It is shameful, yes, but we might as well all get used to it.