Avatar, I Object

Avatar was really beautiful and a bit too simple at the same time.

It pits a corporate-run, militaristic society gone mad with greed against the righteous, spiritually attuned, nature-loving natives.

The visuals are so imaginatively rendered, so amazing and demanding that, after three hours, they wear on the eye.

Imagination runs out when the same old binary opposition — cowboys vs indians — is reduced to simplistic battle action, blowup, kill.kill.kill. suffer.suffer.suffer

Creators out there, I may stand in a small crowd shouting this, but war for wars sake is extremely dull and disgusting. Following the lead of former presidents who shall remain nameless, film and video games have made it such an easy indulgence.

As a recurrent story theme it is akin to a marathon of soulless, limp-dicked sex. What sensible person wants that? It is tired, Mary. Let it go.

Avatar also revisits the return of the white savior. We’ve seen it before in Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai and it’s implied nastily in Apocalypto. Those that come by sea/sky will deliver the heathen savages from their wrong-headed beliefs.

If Cameron can get to the point of creating such fantastic faux organic beauty, if he can make it obvious that this graceful, rich environment must be respected why does he then drown it in an ocean of unimaginative diarrhea?

Yes, it makes the enemy really worthy of hate when they tear the holiest sites on Pandora asunder but I think there could have been a much more interesting solution to the threat of destruction from the greed merchants.

Sabers could rattle, the stakes could be just as high, and then the tall nerdy smart boy on the scientist’s team could come up with some cutting edge biological engineering that could render the aggressive folk benign and they could skip the WAR!

Even I know that is where biology is at these day. I listen to Science Friday on NPR. Scientists are learning ways to help the environment and threatened creatures with biological tools.

Simplistic thinkers, it is not evil and this movie is about human cloning, anyway.

Couldn’t a thorough writer, an ingenious writer, retain all the edgy drama and build tension out of brute force vs bio? The war-mongers strategize and huff and puff  as the good nerd scientists grow closer to delivering their biological neutralizer to the military population?

I object to the tenet that holds drama = explosive apocalyptic death orgy.

But I guess the object isn’t really to create uplifting, awe-inspiring art. The goal is massive ticket and video game sales. Cameron succeeds admirably at the later.

I’m left with two questions.

What are the implications of having called the planet Pandora and is deep-level creative thinking the real unobtanium?

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