Say what??

So I saw Avatar…

…and I didn’t really like it! (Wait while I duck from the stones and boulders that will be hurled at me shortly.)

Sure, Avatar was a cinematic triumph featuring 3D technology, special effects and amazing color infusion, but I don’t watch movies for the technology. I go for the story. Call me old fashioned.

Prior to seeing the film, I’d read a critique that essentially said Avatar was shock full of liberal bias, portraying the military as mindless gumps waging an unjust war against a peace-loving nation of tree-hugging beings. After learning the native ways, a newly converted White guy (the hero) is tasked with saving the day, because the poor “blue monkeys” are incapable of doing it themselves, no matter how stout their hearts. It was, sadly, very Dances with Wolves as the critic analyzed, and I so very wanted that critic to be wrong!

The story line was disappointing for the sheer fact that it was nothing more than a formula. It was King Solomon’s Mines, The African Queen, and any other movie you can recall featuring defenseless natives armed only with bows and arrows facing a foe fortified with obvious superior technology and intellect. Yes, the natives may had had their victories in a few skirmishes, but these only make the “Sky People” (the US Military) come back with greater force and resolve. It is at this point that our hero enters the scene, fulfilling ancient prophecies and winning the “hearts and minds” of the people. I was ultimately saddened that I’d paid $14 to witness this drivel.  What fueled my anger further is that as I was leaving the theater through a side exit, a middle aged Italian/Arab guy in an orange jacket slid in past me so that he could go watch a movie for free! If I HAD to pay $14 to see Avatar, dag-on-it, he was going to have to too. He disappeared into the crowd before it occurred to me to turn around, point him out and shame him.

At the end of the day, I would only recommend you go see Avatar just so you can say that you did; and for the special effects. If you posses any level of independent political or social thought, you will most certainly be disappointed. The political messages (or biases) aren’t hard to read through: The military, corporate greed and technological advancement are bad. Beings who love trees and eat roots are good. Perhaps I’m just tired of the same old Hollywood recipe. Maybe it’s the indignant savage in me that thinks the idea of Jake Sully the Savior sucks.

To right these obvious affronts to my senses, I recommend that the next Star Wars (featuring the very fine Mr. Chris Pine)  incorporate the technology of Avatar. Now that would be a film worth plunking down $14 to go see!