I wanted to like the movie (I'm in love with Zoe Saldana!) and the trailer is fantastic:
Official Avatar Movie
As I said, I wanted to love the flick and I did love the cinematography but . . . my goodness, the script!
Cut-and-paste child's play!
Is it impossible in the imagination of Hollywood for there to be good and bad corporations? Good and bad military operations? For business to be fairly representative of people, good and bad? That they be allowed to have some range? I mean, this is really getting absurd. Truly absurd.
I also have a quibble that may be strictly related to my status as an Army man but . . . Marine units? Identified as such and operating as such? In space? Mimicking airborne soldiers and engaging in air assault activities? I mean, damn! That's flat-out bizarre. At least it is to me.
And speaking of a lack of range, will there ever be a stereotypical "yankee" or west coast dude who turns out to be the bad Soldier/Marine in one of these blockbuster flicks? Have I missed it? I'm not a movie guy, and I often flush the memories of movies I do like and enjoy them on second viewing because I've forgotten so much of the flick but . . . is there a law that says the bad Soldier can't be a Californian? New Yorker? New Englander?
Did I mention that I loved the cinematography? Yes, I also loved the way I was able to buy into Zoe's character.
However, I didn't love the music. It seemed awkward and out of place. A friend said, and I agree, they would have been much better off making the musical score truly exotic since they worked so hard to make the people of Pandora so damn exotic. And speak of the devil -- Pandora? Give me a break! What a name choice (certainly not selected by the natives!) -- so, we're consciously harkening back to Greek mythology, huh? Flush monotheism, is that it? Unless, of course, the deity is Mother Earth. Pseudo-science as religion married up with Environmentalism as religion combining to form the overarching social contract, all of which is flavored with some maudlin "white bad, colored good" nonsense. That sums up this move.
Obviously, the patronizing portrayal of the natives didn't work for me, either.
Oh look, what's this? Strong, intuitive, smart colored chick enchanted with the singular, sympathetic, disabled white boy flush with vigor in his new colored body.
Okay, somebody is about to try and make my head explode -- right?
And my head did explode, as it has on many occasions when force-fed color-coded instructions on how I should be feeling or thinking in response to the magic of the movies. Especially when it invariably has the the lead colored males in subservient or supporting roles.
I could go on but I won't; if you've read this far you clearly get the message. Visually, it's a great flick. It strikes me as not very difficult to have modified this script and greatly improved the end-product. The secret would have been to make it less feminine, to make the commanding officer of Earth's forces more Petraeus-like, to utilize the clans on Pandora earlier in the script by allowing the would-be leader of the Na'vi to seek their assistance for forming an alliance to fight the Sky People, and allowing the story to then be all about the genuine intersection of counter-insurgency efforts, diplomatic initiatives, ambition and good old-fashioned love. On both sides of the conflict.
That, utilizing some skilled screenwriters who don't have issues with male authority, would have made for a fantastic flick no matter how you wanted to end it and the flick would have been defensible.
This cartoon characterization mess? A waste.