James Cameron Will Shed No Tears Over Me

I saw “Avatar” a while back.

On one hand, it is a beautiful film and one where someone has tried (and mostly succeeded) in creating another world. Ironically, the largest area where the world falls down is among the human environment, which leads into…

Stephen Lang as Colonel Quaritch

"Friend to Nature" will not be written on his tombstone.

On the other hand, “Avatar” has some incredibly ordinary work on characters, the narrative and pretty much anything that would give the film some substance. It’s a hugely expensive film funded by massive capitalistic endeavours that portrays a message of anti-consumption (or at least cost of consumption) that is naive at best and hypocritical at worst. The plot is about as sophisticated as what passed for a narrative in “Transformers”. It’s also long enough to get very, very dull. There was no surprise over Jake Sully going the full blue because there was no dramatic weight  or motivation given to his decision not to choose the Na’vi over humans. And why would he not change teams? Go from a 9-foot blue demi-god back to a broken human shell that had nothing to go home for – who’d stick with the humans in that case?

Personally, I was bored at least by the time Jake caught his very own dragon and was left waiting a long time for the final showdown between the Colonel and Sully. I’m not that phased by “Avatar” having a narrative directly lifted from “Dances with Wolves” or from “Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest” or even “Pocahontas”. Original stories are hard and I’m happy to watch movies with paper thin plots and spectacular visuals. But “Avatar” is just not that interesting and even boringly formulaic. Beautiful, yes, but ultimately a complete triumph of style over substance.

What’s that? You can’t hear me over the sound of the cash registers? Never mind then.

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