September 05, 2011

Review of Avatar

As long-time readers will recall, I posted a lot of items on Avatar's racial and cultural themes when the movie came out. What I didn't do was review Avatar myself. On the page below are some points that struck me—points that most reviewers missed.

Indigenous themes in Avatar

If you can't read the whole review, here's a summary:

Snap judgment on Avatar: It's entertaining in an extremely superficial way. People who have compared it to Ferngully aren't kidding. It's a $300-million version of a Saturday matinee for 12-year-olds...a super-CGI potboiler a la The Land That Time Forgot. Outsider finds lost world of prehistoric men and beasts...learns their primitive ways...and joins them against the villainous [fill-in-the-blank] people.

If you're familiar with Westerns, science fiction and fantasy, and comic books, you've seen this story dozens of times. Good little cave people (even if they don't live in caves) vs. big bad monsters. Avatar is just about that black and white. It's visually impressive but about as deep as a children's book.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's better than them constantly remaking movies which used to mean something (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Planet of the Apes) into some animal rights cliché. Though it is very smurf and smurf. (Whenever I see the Na'vi, I think of Smurfs.)