Reviewed on 2010 May 3
After hearing lots of my friends tell me I have to see this, usually in a rush of “zomgyouhaven’t?youhavetoseethisi’veseenitthree timesit’sthebestmovieeveromgomgomg”, I finally broke down and rented it. I thought it was really corny but it was entertaining, I’ll give it that.
Our dying world needs the element unobtanium, which exists in huge deposits on the moon of Pandora, a remote world which by day looks kind of like a Rainforest Cafe designed by someone on mescaline, and like a black light poster at night. The marines want to liberate the unobtanium, along with Big Business, represented by Parker Selfridge (a very slimy Giovanni Ribisi). The fly in the ointment? Pandora is populated by the Na’vi, a tall blue-skinned race of tough beings who understandably resent outsiders encroaching on their world. The marines set up an outpost on Pandora’s Hallelujah Mountains (I said it was corny) and send in people to get to know and earn the trust of the natives. They deploy Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic marine, to try to win them over.
The effects were amazing, and the Na’vi became more human (I mean our good qualities) as the film progressed. If the plot had more depth this thing could have been a masterpiece; say, the Na’vi and the humans working grudgingly together for something, only to be menaced by a third outside force. Some people compared it to Dances with Wolves; as it was, it reminded me a little of a very warped Aliens, with Ribisi reincarnated as a more obnoxious Carter Burke and had Ripley’s aliens unhinge their double jaws to sing to the trees at night and not eat people. I know some people have the film as their new favorite and I understand that; it is a dazzling movie. I point that out because on the IMDb threads for this movie, a bloodbath seems to ensue if anyone doesn’t love it. I’m not a critic, I’m a reviewer, and I’m only saying that Avatar just didn’t do it for me.
Two chocolate morsels. It’s over two hours of Gaia worship and subtle as a bag of hammers, but it is pretty.