I wanted to write a review of Avatar when I first saw it, but found it so bland and predictable that it wasn’t even worth making fun of at the time. It just felt too much like work to bother, ya know? Then, seeing that a newer, even longer, extra-skippy edition of Avatar is about to be released, I felt someone had to take a stand. Why not me? Consider it a public service announcement for all 8 people who haven’t seen the movie at least twice already. I also saw a rating for it on one of those movie channels I get with my Comcast subscription. It gave Avatar 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. They gave each of the Lord of the Rings movies the same exact rating, if that puts things into perspective for you. Well, I call bullshit on them.
Dudes … seriously … am I really the only who thinks Avatar sucked total rooster balls1? Just in case, I thought I’d tear the movie a new one and find out the hard way. So get your hate mail ready. I can take it, America. Just remember: I’m doing this for you.
So now, I ask you: am I really the only one who thinks the movie Avatar sucked big time?
What Is Avatar About?
The gist of the movie goes something like this.
In the year 2154, humans have discovered a cost effective means of reaching the distant stars. Despite the god-like technology required to cover such immense distances, we still use old fashioned guns, helicopters, and regular old now-stuff for almost everything else.2
On the plus side, we can apparently build robotic battle armor (they were called mecha in the good old days of kid scifi) that can be piloted by nut job mercenaries for hand to hand combat purposes. Why we would want this instead of something that kills our enemies from a safe distance–like a missile–is beyond me. But in Cameron’s universe, we can do it. That’s all you really need to know.
Now the evil RDA Corporation has discovered … I shit you not … a mineral called unobtainium. It’s worth, like, a bajillion dollars in the nation of Crapistan or something, so the RDA sent an army of grunts to planet Pandora to get it. But wouldn’t you know there are aliens on Pandora who won’t let us have our precious unobtainium. The blue dicks.3 As a civilization, their latest technological innovation seems to be the pointy stick. So while the aliens stand 10 feet tall, they’re no match for the RDA’s military awesomeness. Or so you would assume.
Anyway, despite spending billions on an armada of mercs to gently shove the giant smurfs out of their way, the company also has a project with an aim at diplomacy. I think. Turns out a team of scientists have created artificial alien bodies that can be controlled by humans via telepathic remote control. Or something like that. All they’ve really done with this technology is talk with the aliens and learn about their culture. (Yawn.)
According to the movie, this process is very expensive. Why this approach is better than just sending a guy in an air mask to talk with the aliens face to face isn’t clear to me, but OK. (Note that the air on Pandora isn’t breathable for humans.) These bodies–called Avatars–can only be controlled by the person they were made for. The Avatar has to have some of the pilot’s DNA in their genetic makeup for reasons that will, I’m sure, sound totally stupid and made up to me if you could explain them. Don’t bother, because I don’t care.
This is where our hero, Jake Sully, comes in. Please don’t laugh at his name.
Jake is a former marine turned paraplegic. It was a bad career move. His twin brother was one of those scientists I was telling you about who pilot Avatar bodies. So when his brother dies, Jake is given a chance to take his brother’s place and pilot an Avatar body. Yep, you can just see his conversion to Pandoranism coming a mile away. Soon, he’ll be handing out Pandora-towers to all his neighbors and complaining about how “worldly” everyone is.
Being too stupid for words, Jake is reduced to guard duty and forced to watch over a gigantic, blue-assed Sigourney Weaver–complete with a youthful, CGI generated midriff no less4–on his first mission. Sounds simple enough, right? But Jake screws up and gets separated from his team of nerds. Personally, I think Sigourney set it all up to ice his ass, but I can’t prove anything. Yet. More later.
Then Jake is saved by an alien chick who pretty much hates his guts almost as much as Sigourney. Seems like Jake and I do have something in common: chicks naturally despise us. Anyway, a bunch of floating plant/bug things that glow in the dark land on Jake, making him holy. Or infected. Eventually, Jake is accepted into their tribe and finds out how totally awesome their people are. Especially their blue cat women.
Finally, the evil humans invade Pandora-stan and Jake lets it slip that he might have known something about the impending attack all along. He just forgot to mention it to the tribe, which is about to be slaughtered by the RDA. He already revealed his true loyalties to his superiors at the RDA–on camera, no less–by attacking a 4 story tank with a rock. So now everyone on both sides wishes him dead. Me included. And I’m on this side of the TV!
This could all have been avoided, but Jake is very, very stupid. He even loses his girlfriend for a while, who was already betrothed to some alien prince before she found out that Jake had a cooler car. No chance of an alien three way now! I almost walked out of the theater at this point.
So Jake goes out to saddle a gigantic flying bird thing, which will help him unite all the alien tribes against the evil humans. Uniting them means herding all the aliens in the same place, which should make them easier to exterminate for the RDA mercenaries. Maybe Jake’s secretly working for the corporation after all, you say? That would have been an interesting twist, but no, they didn’t go there. Dammit.
Magically, Jake and the super-Smurfs defeat those mean, bad, nasty old humans using classical Ewok tactics from the book of Tzun Tzu. But not before a final showdown with Sergeant Grunts-a-Lot! Hot damn. Here comes the movie’s drum solo.
Sergeant Grunts-a-Lot, who probably has a different name and rank in the movie, is the typical, “Pandora will eat you up and shit you out, boy!” kinda guy. He had offered Jake a way to fix his dead ass legs if only Jake would provide him with some cool intel about the aliens. Jake foolishly agrees, never realizing that he will end up loving the Pandorans some day … even though you knew it like ten minutes into the movie, just as I did.
BTW, is it just me, or does Sergeant Grunts-a-Lot sound like one helluva of a porn name?
So Grunts-a-Lot takes his mecha and gets into a knife fight with Jake. Jake, piloting his giant alien body, kicks old Grunts-a-Lot hard in the sack with a lot of help from his girlfriend. Then they live happily ever until-the-sequel after. Later, having proven himself to the Pandorans, the magical tree-goddess (it really is a tree, just with glowie vines and stuff) transfers Jake’s consciousness from his shitty human body into his super-shlonged alien clone body. Thus allowing him, and his girlfriend, to enjoy getting freaky for the rest of their alien mutant lives. Or until Pandora 2: Electric Boogaloo comes out. Or until they’re married, because that’s where the hot sex usually ends in most relationships anyway.
Oh, I’m betting that Neytiri will have a bigger rack in the sequel. As it should be. Ah, the tree goddess is pleased. Otherwise, I can’t think of a single reason to watch it.
I’d like to point out something here. According to the Wikipedia article on Avatar, Cameron’s vision of the Na’vi (the aliens in Avatar) come from a dream his mother told him about. Likewise, he once claimed that his idea for the Terminator came from one of his own fevered dreams.
Dude. Seriously. What the hell is your family on?
So Why Did I Even Watch This Stupid Movie If It Was So Boring and Predictable?
I originally decided to watch Avatar because the reviews for it were generally good. People had been talking about it for some time, kinda like the second coming of Christ, where James Cameron would save us from our own bad movies … by giving us another bad movie.5 It also gave my wife and I a reason to go outside. (As geeks, we’re naturally afraid of sunlight.) When we went to the theater and saw Avatar in 3-D, we both thought the same three things:
- 3-D did nothing for this movie at all.
- It seemed like the actual story was very 2 dimensional, and making it visually 3-D couldn’t hide that fact.
- It was a much better movie when it was called “Dances With Wolves,” even though that version wasn’t in outer space or digitally animated. Or in 3-D for that matter. And I didn’t have to wait for the extra-skippy version to see the sex scene. Rock his world, Stands With A Fist! Yeah, cow girl style! You go girl.
Does a Na’vi
Dammit all, the world loves this movie. Even Roger Ebert called it “extraordinary.” Can you believe that shit? Roger friggin’ Ebert! It won a bunch of awards and was nominated for still more awards.
Man, now I feel sad. Maybe I’m just too cynical to believe that a man and a giant she-smurf can live happily ever after. Especially when he’ll have to shit in a bucket for the rest of his life. Aw, who am I kidding? It’ll just be a hole in the ground. The Na’vi don’t have buckets. Maybe he can use those glowing squids to wipe his ass. At least then he’ll be able to see what he’s doing.
If you haven’t seen Avatar yet, maybe you should try watching the Rifftrax version. I found it far more enjoyable than the original movie was in the theater. Until then, may the tree goddess be with you. And if you hate Avatar just as much as I do, please share your hate and let me know that I’m not alone in this cruel, cruel world.
- KFC’s worst addition to their children’s menu ever. Well, maybe. ↩
- I just realized that I live in a world where Firefly and Serenity bombed, but Avatar’s a huge financial success. That’s it world. You suck. ↩
- You knew this movie was stupid as soon as you heard the term “unobtainium.” Right? RIGHT?! ↩
- Be still my precious lunch! ↩
- For the record, I think Titanic sucked too. ↩
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