Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
Director: James Cameron
Running Time: 162 mins
Avatar is an American film about a paraplegic Marine who is sent to the far moon Pandora to venture into the world of the local population. However, he soon becomes torn between his human origins and the new life he has discovered as his avatar.
It’s quality, not quantity (of million-dollar special effects). That’s what made this film so spectacularly disappointing. Despite the amazing visuals all the way through, the story was absolutely atrociously written, the characters were barely developed, and the underlying message was not even underlying, but down your throat was it so forceful.
Anyway, let’s start with the positive. Yes, the ONE good thing about this film. This surely has, probably second only to Gravity, some of the most incredible visual effects I’ve ever seen in a film. They created an entire, realistic-looking world purely out of CGI, making for a dazzling thing to look at for the duration.
But that was the only thing that saved this film. And even so, the visuals were in fact used to the wrong effect. Rather than encompassing you in this awesome and beautiful world that is Pandora, making you look towards space exploration with excitement and enthusiasm, this film decides to utilise its CGI to further its very depressing and political message, completely contradicting what you would want from a dazzling sci-fi story.
That was probably what disgusted me most about this film. Although almost all of the effort and money was spent on special effects, the remainder was used to create a shameful display of environmentalist propaganda. With a message no less blatant than the Stalinist film Battleship Potemkin, this film presents the notion that humanity’s development and exploitation of nature is destroying the beauty of the universe, and shoves it down your throat so forcefully that it ultimately becomes unpleasant and painful to watch.
Also, the fact that the message is so blatant shows a spectacular lack of depth on the part of this film. You would expect a near three-hour story to have some detailed meanings within, maybe using the avatars to talk about the concept of identity, something potentially much more interesting, but no. This film continues ceaselessly to attempt to brainwash you with an overly political and forceful message.
On the side of the entertainment value of this film, there was also none. The characters presented were near unsupportable, and impossible to sympathise with, the story was so poorly written that I lost interest every 2 minutes, the dialogue was completely inappropriate and unfitting for the atmosphere that was trying to be created, and I’m sure I experienced 2 and a half of the most boring hours of my life while watching this.
Overall, I’ll give this a 3.8, because although it had incredible special effects, there was nothing else whatsoever that managed to entice me into this despicable show of nonsense.