I Want to Like Avatar…
I really, really want to like this movie. Really. It opens one week from today and I’d like to think that soon I will be walking out of the movie theater completely amazed and not at all disappointed by my decision to spend an evening watching this film. But the more clips I see and the more reviews I read, the more I think my hopes will be dashed and I will walk out wishing I’d gone to see New Moon instead. Yeah, I’m that doubtful.
First, I think this is going to be just as “visually stunning” as it looks in the clips. There is some amazing CGI in this thing and the views of Pandora, the alien planet, are incredible. But the native Na’vi are striking bright blue creatures and although they are beautifully done, I cannot help but think “CGI” every time they appear. And that’s where the problems start for me. The scenery looks fantastic, the Na’vi look like, well, CGI blue creatures. They don’t feel real. Especially against backdrops which are so realistic. One clip shows Jake, our Na’vi/Human hero, plummeting over a waterfall. You’d swear the water was real, but there is no doubt that Jake is CGI.
And even if I get past my CGI problems, there are still issues. The poor natives are being attacked by the evil humans and their evil warmachines, which look an awful lot like hybrid 40K/Star Wars constructs. All because we’re greedy, money-grubbers and must get to the rich source of Unobtainium within their planet. No, I’m not making a geeky engineering reference, they acutally named the stuff Unobtainium. Seriously. And the chief money-grubber is named Selfridge and the scientist who thinks he’s not doing the right thing is named Grace. Ugh.
Now, I could be completely wrong. Maybe I won’t think they went overboard trying to amaze me with CGI scenes of alien worlds and slow motion battles between our hero and alien-tiger-monsters. Maybe they won’t make this yet another movie trying to convince me that humans are greedy and evil and will happily destroy native cultures for money. Maybe the names won’t even sound so ridiculous in the context of the whole movie. Maybe. But, those sparkly vampires are looking pretty good right about now.