Avatar (2009)


SVEN: If you’re alive you’ve probably already seen Avatar, have an opinion about it, and think reading a review for it is a waste of your time. Well, tough shit, because if you’ve read this much you’re pretty much pot-committed and have to finish the next few paragraphs out.

It would hardly do to call this movie anything but adored, yet some critics have articulated admonishments nonetheless. These center largely on the film’s plot, and rightly so. The fact is, Avatar has been done before. Anyone who has experienced Dancing With Wolves, Pocahontas, or The Last Samurai has essentially already seen Avatar.

And yet, they haven’t. Because, really, at the end of the day, no one has seen anything like Avatar. The sheer technological spectacle is enough to justify the movie’s existence and compensate for any unoriginality in plot structure. Simply put, Avatar is the single most compelling argument for the continued existence of the theatrical movie watching experience.

My praise may seem superficial, but I actually really dug Avatar. I knew where it was going, sure, but I had a lot of fun “hanging out” in Jim Cameron’s world all the same. This really is a great ride. The sensory experience is a steal for the price of a movie ticket (even with 3D premiums tacked on). I have no idea if the plunge to Pandora will survive the drop to home theater (which would be prudent knowledge considering the recent video release), but for the window during which Avatar dominated movie screens it really was the coolest show in town.

JAI: All good points!

My very first thoughts about the movie (Back when it was just a trailer) were that it looked like a marriage of the StarCraft and WarCraft games, but I was blissfully ignorant of the hundreds of other superficial resemblances that people would obsess over when the movie came out. It all got to be a bit silly, as if a movie being fucking great to watch was unusual (Although, yeah, it was unusual. Pretty much every other movie around that time was worthless) and suspicious.

But it’s an extremely solid flick, and what more should anyone want? The result of Cameron’s hundreds of millions of dollars (And predictable, trite storyline) turned out to be ridiculously superior to anything that big-money filmmakers like George Lucas, Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg have touched in the past twenty years (Well, “decade” in Spielberg’s case).

CHRIS: I think this film was good enough to stand on its own without the 3D gimmickry, which it will have to do as the only time anyone will see this in 3D is during movie theater revivals and if 3D TVs ever become popular. It’s not particularly engaging or original, but it certainly is pretty, and there’s enough of a story beneath the gloss to support the facade.

The last half hour of the movie had some really great action, however, and that will stand up in any dimension. Those fights were really well done.

In conclusion, it seems that we’re forced to have two dimensional characters in three dimensional movies, but at least as far as Avatar goes, there’s enough wham-bang-razzle-dazzle to make it worthwhile to watch outside of theaters, even without the 3D.

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