J Bov Explodes Rhetorically

I Saw Avatar Today
21/01/2010, 2:09 AM
Filed under: Diatribes and Debates, Gibberish, Writing

Before I begin let me say this: I enjoyed the film quite a lot. It’s nice to sit for three hours not thinking and escape to a wonderfully crafted world that isn’t this one.

I will be getting it when it comes out on DVD and I’ll probably watch it lots as a time-killer.

On the other hand, my qualms with it are that aside from the admittedly thin ‘Dances With Wolves’ comparison (it’s not actually all that similar), every other thing in it is from elsewhere:

• Ripley (because let’s be honest, she is Dr. Ripley in this) is channelling some ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ throughout.
• The Impressing and riding of the dragons is from Anne McCaffrey’s (infinitely superior) ‘Dragonriders of Pern’ series.
• The crippled protagonist using a remotely controlled body to perform tasks on a hostile alien world is from ‘Call Me Joe’ by Poul Anderson.
• Floating islands are old hat. As are energy vortices that knock out electronic guidance systems.
• Tree-dwelling natives are habitually used to show how connected they are to nature. (See: Elves)
• What little we see of the human tech is very ‘Alien’-esque
• The planet being a sentient being that the natives can connect to or ‘access’ like it’s the fucking internet is from somewhere, I don’t remember where, but I’ve read it before.
• Almost the whole finer plot is lifted from a novella by Ursula K. Le Guin called ‘The Word for World is Forest’.
• Helicopter pilot woman IS pvt. Vasquez from ‘Aliens’.

“I will gain the trust of these natives. I am one of them now. Humans are doing something that I was fully aware and part of but I see it is bad now. I will stop them by becoming THE BEST NATIVE! I win.” Roll credits.

It’s stagnant, it’s badly paced, it’s escapist fantasy that could have been written by a twelve-year-old and everyone saying “ZOMG BEST FILM EVER!!! 400 BILLION OUT OF 5!!!” is a moron who needs to read a fucking book once in a while.

Yes, the effects were good, but I don’t read a book because I like the typeface. I don’t play a game because the controls are great, those are supposed to be EXTRAS. I don’t want to watch a three-hour-long 3D motion-capture demonstration.

(A generous) 7 out of 10
(A realistic) 3 out of 5

I like it. But it simply isn’t good.