Published on Sunday, 03 January 2010 19:00
Written by Will
|Directed By||James Cameron|
|Written By||James Cameron|
|Starring||Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi|
|By It Now On|
Old ideas, new worlds and stunning visuals! Avatar
I really wanted to like this movie, but I didn't. I went to see it and then waited a week to write the review. With each passing day Avatar
has dwindled in my esteem faster than it is raking in the dough at the box office! In my humble bumble opinion Avatar
stands as Cameron's weakest film to date (yah, I am including Piranha II
in that equation, at least that was hokey fun). Visually speaking, the film is a monumental technical achievement and does deliver a feast for the eyes that more than once will leave you gasping at its technicolor phosphorescent facade. The problem lies in the films I am sorry to say, pathetic storyline, which unfortunately borrows more than liberally from other films such as Dances With Wolves
and Cameron's own Aliens
and the Abyss
Unimaginatively, it begins with a space marine (Aliens
) who has been crippled in the line of duty and can no longer walk. He, (Sam Worthington as 'Jake Sully') has been chosen to participate in a new program that will give him the opportunity to walk again, although not in his own body! The Avatar program enables its subjects to manipulate genetically engineered alien bodies via a complicated brainwave link up. The reason behind the exercise is to infiltrate and ingratiate the native "Na'vi" population of "Pandora", who have all but declared war on the invading miners intent upon securing all of the mineral 'Unobtanium' (no I didn't make that up!).
I was still with the film at this point but was beginning to become a bit skeptical about where it was heading. I have always enjoyed Cameron's films but there were just to many similarities beginning to occur which slowly at first and then more rapidly began to break down the wall and pull me out of my suspended state of disbelief. First of all, the whole mining angle was a staple feature in both Aliens and the Abyss and coupled with the inclusion of Sigourney Weaver as 'Dr. Grace Augustine' didn't help either. This time she is reprising a mish mash of 'Ripley' from Aliens skin-grafted to her portrayal of Diane Fossey from Gorillas in the Mist. Only difference being this time instead of preferring gorillas to people, she prefers plants and ten foot tall blue aliens. This isn't a bad thing mind you, but Jim we've already seen this!
Then we meet the "Na'vi" who though ten feet tall and blue, still can't be distinguished from the Lakota Sioux in Dances With Wolves
, they even ride horse-like creatures and fight with bows and arrows! Jake's Avatar finds himself in a position to be indoctrinated into their tribe, I imagine there is no need for me to explain where this goes from here.. Of course he does! Thanks to his Avatar he can run, fight, bond with a giant flying space chicken (InkHeart
?), and have sex with a big hot blue cat lady, who wouldn't grab a chance like that? We all know a good space marine like Jake could never fuck over an indigenous people just for personal gain.
A few coincidences can be overlooked, but they just keep coming and slapping you repeatedly with variations of a theme. Michele Rodriguez is on hand to step into the tough hispanic role originally knocked out of the park by Jeanette Goldstein as 'Vasquez' in Aliens
Giovanni Rabisi takes over for Paul Reiser as the greedy corporate scumbag from the same source and Stephen Lang turns up here as a dead ringer to Michael Biehn's 'Lt. Coffey' from the Abyss
, it is high time to develop some new characters Mr. Cameron. These people have been ridden hard and put up wet! Lets see something that hasn't already played on every screen in existence too many times already!
You will probably hate me for saying this about one of America's most beloved Director's, but Jim you really fumbled the ball on this one. The film is indeed a technical dynamo and has certainly broke all boundaries of the visual effects realm, but I can't lie and tell you that the film has any heart, because it doesn't. I just hope that next time around the block Mr. Cameron makes a stop at the Library to bone up on his storytelling abilities, or shy of that hires a writer to inject some fresh blood into his work.