Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Industrial Militarist Indignant

Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)
** (Worth Seeing)

In James Cameron's Avatar there is the presentation of a utopian traditional culture deeply rooted in nature, and because of globalization and militarism through the humans attempt to exploit the land for a valuable resource, the tranquility of the land and its residents will be wounded. An important driving force of the film is the protagonist Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) physical disability. Due to a military battle wound he is now a para-pelagic. This not only presents Jakes motivation to have a avatar-clone but provides the context of personal tolls in large-scale conflict and it bring up class differences as Jakes social and financial position prevents him from getting the operation that could restore his legs.

This is a really interesting hybrid film due to its layering of analog and media, use of performance capture technology, and being in 3-D. I was entertained watching Avatar, its visual flairs such as the aweinspiring alien world and the sensational climax à la Titanic crash were terrific but the film is severely devalued by its banal narrative with repeated clichés and predictability.-David Davidson

(SilverCity Gloucester, 2385 City Park Drive)


Michael said...

I certainly thought it was better than the two lousy stars you gave. The plot wasn't banal and predictable. The dialogue was excellent. The scene where the Home Tree was destroyed was terrifying and moving. The characters were well developed and the plot was relevant to problems of resource exploitation, globalization, and native (and species) abuse throughout the world.

SK said...

I think you're spot-on David. I can't deny I was deeply affected by all the Imax 3D bells & whistles and the impressive action sequences but the real test of the movie came when I was taking the bus home from Newark airport and the driver decided to put on a Russian bootleg of AVATAR on the bus's TV system. There, the clumsy narrative and 1D characters were laid bare.

It's an impressive feat of moviemaking magic like BEN HUR or THE TEN COMMANDMENTS - I just wish the movie had a little more interest in story and character.