PATRON REVIEW: Avatar (2009)
Fiona (Age 40): I first saw Avatar when it came out (a year before my eldest son Teddy was born) and it was a huge phenomenon, due to the 3D factor. I thought it was OK (obviously mostly from the innovative visual standpoint), but pretty long and got more boring as it went along. The last third really drags and my husband and I both fell asleep in the cinema towards the end. Avatar has certainly fallen out of favour and despite it being so high-grossing (only just being toppled by Endgame last year), it has made very little cultural impact. James Cameron is of course, desperate to resurrect Pandora and has multiple sequels planned, despite it being something that no one is clamouring for.
Revisiting Avatar recently (thanks to a prompt from one of our generous patrons) hasn’t really changed my mind. I like Zoe Saldana’s performance and enjoy the fact that she is in so many of the top-grossing films of all time. Sam Worthington has almost completely disappeared and like Chris Hemsworth, would benefit from getting to work in his own Aussie accent more. The environmental and anti-colonial messages are clumsily handled by Cameron, with much of the dialogue being cringe-inducing. I had forgotten about a lot of the creatures, which to be fair, are a nice bit of world-building. It’s bizarre watching Sigourney Weaver smoke in her futuristic science lab, which seems out-dated even for 2009. I had also forgotten that Giovanni Ribisi and Michelle Rodriguez were in this movie, but both are pretty great.
The worst aspect of Avatar by far, is that it just …. never seems to end. It suffers from Return of the King syndrome, in that it has multiple points where it seems to reach a climax, but then keeps on going … and going. It’s interminable. The final battles completely lose my interest and if you’re spending half an hour hoping and praying that a film will finish, you’re never going to look back on it fondly. Cameron really needs to rein himself in and not indulge his impulse to throw every single idea into a movie. He is, of course, still riding on the goodwill of having created beloved characters like The Terminator, but like Ridley Scott, should learn when to leave well-enough alone. If the Avatar sequels are anything other than an unmitigated disaster, I will be finding some hat seasoning…
Teddy (Age 10): So first of all there is this man named Jake, basically he turns into a Na’vi through a weird machine thing with goo inside, on a planet called Pandora. He was part of the army and supposed to be helping to get this stuff call Unobtainium, but then he changes to the Na’vi side, almost dies, but (spoiler alert!) in the end saves a race from mass extinction.
Most of all, what I liked about it was all of the cool creatures. I have two main ones – the first being the Hammerhead Titanothere (that’s a hammerhead rhino), and the Great Leonopteryx – he was the chief of the Wyvern, that’s what they look like most, but really they’re called Mountain Banshees. There were also many other awesome creatures but I won’t mention them because they weren’t my most favourites.
These are some things that I didn’t really like about the movie. First of all IT WAS SO LONG!!! OMG! Like yeah I get it, it’s trying to represent something about how people used to do mean things to the native people. But seriously 2 HOURS and 42 MINUTES OMG!! But other than that, I really liked the movie, it wasn’t as bad as I played it out to be, still it’s ridiculous!
The message of the movie ohh… how long I could talk about that so I will, but not too long. So the message of the movie was a perfect representation of humanity. We are shown what technological advances can do to a species and nature – three words… violence, cruelty and terror. We as a species are violent horrible creatures. We only take, not once have we tried to give. I think that our species will only continue to be violent. The future will most likely be even more violent, horrible, cruel and worse.
And that’s my review of Avatar.