Avatar: Smurfs on Steroids

We just got back from seeing the Avatar movie and on the ride back through a snow storm both had to agree that we didn’t like it. It wasn’t like Avatar totally sucked or anything but the overall movie experience, beyond some fairly cool 3-d effects, actually did kind of leave me feeling empty like when I eat white rice and General Tao Chicken; it’s good going in my mouth but half an hour after it’s gone I’m feeling empty and tired, lacking real nutrition.

The eye-candy was decent, much of the fantasy world of the blue people reminded me of Myst, or some other video game background, but the story was rather dull and the violence made the movie a real let-down.

We had been looking forward to seeing more 3-D movies since we loved Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs so much. The Avatar hype finally got to us and so we decided to take in the 11:45 showing at the Cineplex in Brossard at the Dix-Trente shopping center even though we had to drive 60 kilometers in a New Years Snow Storm!

About 5 minutes into the movie we knew that the evil company, backed by their own private military, wanted to strip mine the paradise on Planet Pandora to haul as much Unobtainium out of the ground as possible since it’s worth a fortune for humans. We’re not sure why it’s worth so much but apparently the military is ready to help the evil Corporation do what it takes to get this unobtanium from this planet. So the head of the corporate army base has to make sure we all know that the natives on Planet Pandora are very bad and ready to kill and the place is worse than hell. Such bad creaures should be killed! Especially when they are un-knowingly living on a huge deposit of Unobtanium.

So the corporate army had this strange mind-transfer machine that allowed the Americans to occupy bodies of the natives and to remotely control the bodies to get information and maybe convince the savages to move away from their sacred land so the corporation could rip open the land like the Alberta Tarsands and suck every last penny out of the ground. Or maybe like Iraq?

The trouble is that the natives considered this huge tree that covered the Unobtanium to be a sacred place that contained the thoughts, memories and voices of all the ancestoral natives who had ever lived before. Damned savages! How ignorant!

So anyway this one Marine, Jake Sully, is somehow “special” and is chosen by the dancing faeries and it is revealed that he should be brought into the tribe and learn the ways of the tribe. I guess this is where the Dances with Wolves analogy and comparison comes in…I never saw that film but I can see how such a comparison could be drawn.

I thought the Avatar characters were like Smurfs on Steroids! It was hard to sympathize with the military demons in the film but the oversized blue Avatars were just as creepy in the end; they were howling like a mob and determined to fight a losing battle with an insane drive that was like the radical religions of the world.

It wasn’t until one private-army pilot turned on her own people and the marine who was living in the Avatar shell started attacking his own people that the war was finally won. But the endless fighting scenes and explosions and killing was tedious. Explosions and killing are the answer to everything? Avatar was a un-focused mash-up of transformer robots, mean dinosaurs, GI Joes with fancy weapons and big eyed blue aliens all tossed into a simplistic story of colonization that was too much white rice and General Tao.

When we left we were hungry for some substance, driving home we wanted to see that green car that had been speeding and weaving in front of us overturn in an accident on the black ice and slush…something real!!