Five Reasons Avatar Sucked

James Cameron’s Avatar was the big hype over the last year.  He broke cinematography frontiers with his use of special effects and forward thinking.  Yeah, yeah, yeah…the movie was pretty awesome from a visual standpoint – I will give him that.  But honestly, the movie, itself, was contrived and a bit childish.  I’d almost go as far to say that the whole thing was a mashup of Cameron’s favorite films.  Anyway, it sucked – and here are five reasons why:

Disney Already Made This Movie.
It was called Pocahontas.  Sexy alien (or person of a different race – exotic to Europeans) lives in a place that Europeans don’t understand, but want to take over.  Enter John Smith (but you can call him “Jake”) who is a stranger to their lands.  The Indians (or Na’vi) want to kill him at first, but Pocahontas (i.e. Neytiri) protects him, shows him her ways, and he assimilates.  If this copy isn’t enough for you, why not steal from Aliens, too.  Bunch of marines, with Sigourney Weaver, in tow, is harassed by a corporate big wig, this time played by Giovanni Ribisi, instead of Paul Riser.  There is a bad-ass Hispanic woman helping them that gives up her life helping the good guys and there are swarms of bad guys killing them all, while they get closer to the hive (or Tree of Life).  Additionally, the Avatars, themselves are just copies directly from the Matrix.  Go into a deep sleep and you can be super tough and agile.

Did A Child Come Up With The Names?
Unobtanium, really?  This is the rare stone which Earth is paying millions of dollars to get their hands upon. They were going to call it “We-Couldn’t-Come-Up-With-A-Better-Rock-Nameium.” Why not call the whole movie “Bullshit-We-Pulled-Out-Of-Our-Ass-tar?”  It would have made more sense.  We then add in other original names like the name of the moon, Pandora (as in: “the humans have opened up a box of something they are going to regret”);  Hometree, a big tree the Na’vi consider their…well…uh home; and the Tree of Souls, which is another tree that you can talk to…hmmm…souls.  I guess when you introduce a complete alien culture in 2-3 hours it’s important to keep the names simple.

The Problem Starts In The Name Of The Movie.
That’s right.  Avatar.  James Cameron got so wrapped up in his ability to use cool special effects that he forgot to connect us to the characters.  The movie’s main character is Jake Sully.  We know two things about Jake.  He’s a paraplegic and he’s got a dead brother.  Then he goes into his Matrix-like state and they turn him into a 10 foot alien that only vaguely looks like him.  We’re dipped into this fantastical world with huge aliens, but they all look alike.  There is no real connection with the protagonist.  Everything we know about him is gone and this other thing – which looks like a Night Elf from World of Warcraft – takes his place.

It Gives People A False Sense Of Hope.
Listen, kids.  In the real world, if you band together and fight tanks with sticks and arrows, you are going to be made fun of for the next fifty years.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask the poor Poles (from Poland).  During World War Two, when the German and Russian armies marched on their country, they attacked them with the only army they had – an outdated, medieval-style army that consisted of men on horses with lances.  Guess what? They got their asses kicked back to the Stone Age AND there were “Pollack Jokes” that continued on into the 1980s!  At least James Cameron was nice enough to put a giant windshield on the awesome Mechwarrior/Battletech suits that he stole from the baseball card company, Topps (originally the concept of the game company FASA created in 1986).  They are ripped off directly from this.  I wonder if they actually paid royalty rights?

Why Are Movies Judged By How Much Money They Make?
This isn’t a problem with just the movie, Avatar.  It is a symptomatic of our whole society.  Case in point, that other piece of garbage – Twilight.  The only redeeming quality this series has is that it created an army of teenage brats to pick up a book and read.  Beyond that, they can stick their Team:Edward and Team: Jakob.  Avatar has been the same way.  Early comparisons spoke about them breaking Titanic – James Cameron’s other blockbuster.  Who cares?  That movie was half-way decent, at least (although my wife hates it).  I keep waiting for the end to change with Leonardo DiCaprio gaining some sense to climb up on the floating door, first, and THEN drag Kate up on top of him so they both survive.  In any case, just because a lot of people flock to the movie, doesn’t make it good or a classic.