Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Avatar: A Different Review

What a movie! I could not find a single negative review. Everyone thinks this is a fantastic film in every regard.

I don’t.

Avatar—no doubt about it— takes filmmaking to new heights. The visuals are without parallel, and it is worth the ticket for the unprecendented, 3-D eye experience alone. But the story…

Here’s the plot of a typical Western.

White man finds gold on Indian land. Trouble. The Indians love their land and don’t want to give it up.

But the white man really wants the gold and has superior technology. So in comes the cavalry with big guns to kick out the bow-and-arrow primitives.

In the army’s employ is a half-breed. At first on the side of “progress,” he learns the ways of the noble savages, falls in love with the daughter of the chief, and ends up understanding that theirs is a just cause. For drama add some one-dimensional villains: a gold-is-all-that-matters mining boss and an egomanaical George A. Custer-type.

The result: War on the Plains.

The Indians scalp a few, but are eventually and inevitably overrun.

In Avatar, however, James Cameron lets the Native people (drop out ET…and they become the Na’vi) win.

I read a dozen reviews before writing this. Not one of them mentioned that the B-movie Western is back…at a much inflated budget.

Go see Avatar. But not for the story.

9 Comments

  1. Jason says:

    haven’t seen it but want to (I love lame movies). Not sure I understand your review though – the classic western has been imitated often (good and bad), like Star Wars. But you say the dif is the natives win, seems like a nice twist to me. Did they just screwed it up in that vein, or that you think that doesn’t work with the premise?

    • Steve says:

      It works as well as any well-used plot works. For a film that is being touted as the best film of the year, however, one would hope for a story that isn’t a retread.

  2. Iana says:

    from what I’ve heard it isn’t about the story so much as the technology invented to make it…but I know very little about it. I also have no desire to spent $20 to see a movie in a big sticky room with a bunch of strangers, but that’s just me

  3. Kami says:

    It’s a James Cameron movie. How good could it possibly be?

  4. Gigi E says:

    But weren’t the special effects great? It’s on my list to see, but not at the top.

  5. Cassandra K says:

    You’d think with all the millions they spent on the movie they could have used at least $1M on script writing…

  6. hovawart says:

    Cassandra, that was my family’s thought–why spend that much on the movie and not hire a brilliant writer? What a waste-it’s just another war movie. 1950s mentality, no improvement in the human race. But still it’s so beautiful, you just trip out for three hours.

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