I was watching FX the other day and the movie Avatar came on. Now I had never seen Avatar because it looked like James Cameron took Fern Gully, cut it open, gutted it, and shoved some CGI where its soul used to be. I liked Fern Gully when I was a kid. No, fuck the haters, I fucking LOVED Fern Gully when I was a kid. Saw it probably 100 times loved it. So, just like with my other loved ones, I really didn’t want to watch it get decapitated and maimed on screen. Also, I’ve never forgiven Mr. Cameron for the cinematic abortion Titanic (yes yes, the movie about the Titanic was an irredeemable disaster, irony, haha, let’s move on).
I was pretty sure I was right about Avatar (on account of I’m right about everything) but it was a Saturday afternoon, there was nothing on, I was interminably bored, and figured making fun of it might be more fun than pulling out my own fingernails. Spoiler: Watching this movie to make fun of it was only marginally more fun than pulling out my fingernails.
James Cameron clearly has the “Lucas Complex,” which is where someone was super good at making movies at one point and so is now given all the money they want and surrounded by sycophantic yes men and told that every idea they have is good, even the shitty ones (George Romero famously has it). In music this is referred to as the “Clapton Complex.” The studio should have fired Cameron and brought in Ridley Scott POST HASTE! Or Sam Raimi, then it would have been funny too.
Within the first 20 minutes I spotted roughly 47 scientific impossibilities. Heads up to aspiring film makers: putting Sigourney Weaver in a white coat does not change the laws of the physical world and make anyone believe the sciencey sounding explanations you give for you plot holes.
Listing everything wrong with this movie would take longer than the stupid thing, but here is a list of the top terrible points of this terrible movie (or basically all the ones I wanted to type out):
Terrible Thing One: When I saw the trailers I assumed the “avatars” were robots. No no, that would make too much sense. They are apparently actual biological creatures grown in a lab. Now these creatures have all the physical traits of the things there bred from (humans and weird blue cat people) and since they have the capacity to move and talk and their hearts beat and shit, that means they have brains and nervous systems and all that other good stuff. So how are they not sentient? This leads to one of three conclusions: the humans are possessing conscious, sentient beings and forcing them to act against their will (CREEEEEEPY); the avatars are brain dead, which leads to a host of problems with how they function when invaded by their human hijackers; or James Cameron is a massive dumbass. And what is going on with the avatar body when the host mind is in the host body and vice versa? Are they just starving and peeing themselves during the long intervals between visits? As my brother said, “Interfacing with your flying butt monkey for life? I’d like to see those lease terms.” Though I guess you’d have to or you’d be sentencing your avatar to a soiled, painful, disgusting death. I do like the part where the main character guy says, “Each human can only pair to one avatar and each avatar to one human because of bio something blah blah science stuff hehe.” It was like the film was saying, “HAHA WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE’RE DOING HAHA”
Terrible Thing Two: They called the not-so-subtle oil metaphor substance “unobtainium.” Professional writers came up with that. They got paid money and were not fired on the spot for that piece of pure inspirational genius. Fuck the world.
Terrible Thing Three: The “film makers” (they are film makers in that they made a film, just like any America’s Funniest Home Videos submitter) seemed to want to cram so much new age, pseudo spirituality and allegorical meaning into this huge pile of suck that everything comes off as hasty and with no real thought behind it, a true feat in a movie that’s longer than my dick. One of the people I live with got sucked in about halfway through the movie and pointed out, “I bet a lot of people watch this and go “THAT’S TERRIBLE” but when stuff like this happens in real life they don’t realize it’s the same thing. That might be because, instead of focusing on one instance of imperialism being terrible, this film decided to go through every bad thing that any culture has ever done to another culture or the environment since the history of everything.” Which is too true, too true. If James Cameron had wanted so badly to show the dangers of corporations, imperialism, and/or environmental irresponsibility, he could have made several movies dealing each with one instance of that actually happening instead of one movie that is an allegory so large, encompassing so many events, it loses all message and makes it impossible for the viewer to relate to any actual event they witness. I felt like there was a second narrative that went, “First we start at the dawn of man when we rolled over other species to grow our civilization and then America happened and also other countries that took land from indigenous people and oh did I mention the rain forest and also that corporations are bad…” and so on and on and on. But whatever, WIDE SWEEPING ALLEGORIES FTW!
Terrible Thing Four: Those gross flagella looking things coming out of their hair that they attach to other thing’s flagella. Ew. Does the entire global population of that planet need a prescription for Valtrex because that shit don’t look sanitary. Which brings me to…
Terrible Thing Five: So they’re supposed to like mate with some dragons I guess and you choose them and they choose you and once you are bonded you’re bonded for life…unless it’s inconvenient for the script. Main character guy gets his blue dragon thing and they are all “BEST BUDS FOR LYFE!!!!! (Sorry I tried to kill you that one time bro).” But then he needs to mate (?) with one of the big red dragon variety that only four blue cat people have been able to break in the history of this planet to get the blue cat people to come back because this time will be different baby, I’ve changed! I swear! so he’s like, “Yeah, I’ve only been doing this whole blue cat person thing for 3 months and my small blue dragon guy almost killed me, but evs, it’ll totes be no problem.” Then he mates (again ?) with the red thing in a scene that kinda says everything about the caliber of this movie. See, like I said before, his little blue dragon guy almost killed him, and he’s been training for three months to learn what these blue cat people learn over decades, so when he decides to do what all but four other blue cat people ever have failed to do, he just flies over it (with some bullshit line about “if he’s the biggest thing in the sky, why would he ever look up?”), jumps on its back, and then the camera goes to black and it’s the next scene. BRILLIANT! Can’t figure out how to get out of this inconceivably massive plot hole you’ve dug? Just cut to black and be like “AND THEN EVERYTHING WORKED OUT YAY!!!!!!” And what happened to his little blue dragon buddy? They were mated for life! Blue cat people possessed by imperialist soldiers are such cheating assholes. Don’t worry little buddy, you’ll find someone better. You need to drop that zero and get you a hero!
Terrible Thing Six: In the first attack scene, the blue cat people’s weapons were shrugged off like ants spitting at a Doberman, but next attack they are fucking up the invading forces with the same weapons they tried to use the first time…somehow. Oh and how dickish is it for the humans (and avatar-humans, don’t call them “blue cat fuckers,” that’s racist) to decide they would be the only ones that get guns while the full-blooded blue cat people only get bows and arrows, dragons, and strong language? Answer: intensely dickish.
Terrible Thing Seven: Humans can’t breathe on this planet. The planet has plants and mammals and reptiles and all sorts of shit we have here on earth, but an atmosphere that is completely toxic to humans? How could that possibly be? Oh right, because it makes it more convenient to kill the big boss at the end. You can’t arrow King Koopa like some punk ass goomba, you gotta throw him in the fire pit…er suffocate him with magical poison air.
Terrible Thing Eight: The whole planet is connected like the internet and so…resurrection? Hippie.Fucking.Nonesense. “We’re all connected mannnn! And like the answers all lie in nature and we should totally believe in any superstition that has some sort of white guilt associated with it.” This is the same bullshit that gets people to buy magnet bracelets to cure their cancer or believe that pot cures every fucking thing ever and not just the few specific things it actually helps just like any other medicine. What? You haven’t heard? Pot is not some magical elixir that will not make you live forever? Shocking Mr. Hippie I know, but you can still enjoy getting high, it’s ok. Actually, if you believe in glowing trees that turn people into blue cats that can breathe poison you should probably lay off the drugs. And that vortex nonsense? I wonder if it’s like other vortexes and I can at least get a t-shirt for pretending I buy that a geologist found a place that makes you look taller in pictures as long as you take a picture of someone else who is taller.
Terrible Thing Nine: Three fucking hour run time. I mean, what the ever-living fuck? With all the terribleness contained in this movie, what didn’t make it in?
“We’re running a little long, so let’s cut all the scenes that explain things and also the ones that make the characters likable.” — James Cameron on editing.
I feel really bad for the extra whose one scene got cut. “They kept 47,000 hours of blue butt monkeys riding dragons, but my line explaining why their arrows work now got cut?! Fuck you James Cameron!” Fuck him indeed. Don’t worry random extra, there will be other, hopefully better movies. Besides, with a cast of 588,000, this probably wasn’t your big break.
I’m sure I could go on, but 1,800 words are more than this disaster of a movie ever really deserved.
In conclusion, I am not speaking to Hollywood right now. How could it let this happen to us? Madagascar 3 and Brave better be unbelievably fucking excellent or I’m breaking up with you Hollywood. For good! I mean it this time! Get your fucking act together! Oh and also never let James Cameron near a film project or Michael Bay near a fond childhood memory. Cool? Kthanxbai.