Archive for the ‘Movie review’ Category

Movie review: Avatarded

January 7, 2010 1 comment

Despite negative reviews by a few of my conservative friends — whose politics and movie taste I largely share — I saw Avatar last night. I went with another conservative friend of mine; both of us felt like it was important enough a cultural moment that it deserved our attention. I was both pleasantly surprised and thoroughly disgusted by the film, entertained to no end by the action and CGI, but drained intellectually (not of intellectual energy, but of intellect — literally) by its politics.

Again, the special effects were fantastic; my eyes were locked on the screen the entire time, and while the graphics every so often weren’t great — the human (or rather, the Avatard/Na’vi) movement, CGI’s Achilles’ heal, still felt robotic — I knew going in that the technology isn’t quite there yet and wasn’t bothered by it. Avatarded took the technology as far as it currently can go, so I give it an A+ there.

I’m not going to regurgitate any of the conservative critiques of the movie’s politics; they (here and here you’ll find two of the best) were spot-on. But they didn’t focus on one key line the way they should have.

At one point, the army general — the movie’s primary antagonist — is preparing his troops to attack Pandora and says, simply: “We’re going to fight terror with terror!”

Before I continue, two facts are abundantly clear: First, the corporate-militarist or militarist-corporate conglomerate (in the movie, the military general takes orders from the corporate dude) represents American imperialism — graciously, the movie’s creators limited their America hating to the 2000-2008 period in our history — and second, the Na’vi people are unquestionably peaceful.

So, what “terror” is the movie’s corporatist military fighting with terror? Of course, no terror at all. And that’s the point the movie’s creators are trying to make. Some might dismiss this as an awkwardly forced line, jammed in there by sloppy writers who had a list of Bushisms they needed to litter throughout at random and they unwittingly inserted this one where it didn’t truly fit.

I don’t think so.

They waited years to put this movie out; there was nothing haphazard about its production. That line — of so many Bushisms or conservative aphorisms they could have chosen — is there for a reason. These idiots honestly believe the Bush administration waged the Iraq war to get at its oil (represented by the cleverly named — and by that I mean not cleverly named — Unobtainium the corporate-military is after in the movie), a common enough charge that it’s not all that surprising to hear it mindlessly repeated by the unthinking left in Hollywood. The movie seems to imply that Iraq’s leaders weren’t terrorists, but were instead peace-loving and -seeking citizens of the world — victims, that Republican Guard, I tell ya.

If Avatarded‘s creators hadn’t drawn such obvious and intellectually dishonest and sloppy connections to the last U.S. administration, they’d have written a movie nearly everyone could love. After all, who alive today actually thinks it should be okay to take over another country and kill its people because it has a valuable resource beneath it? (According to liberals, the answer is: all conservatives.) They could have kept the same basic plot — random imperialist planet goes after a peaceful planet’s resources — and left out the blunt-force intellectual trauma imposed by their lack of subtlety in connecting it to our last president’s war against a brutal dictator. (On a side note, I don’t know a single conservative who believes in going to war for resources, yet it’s what the movie reduced American conservatives to: resource-hungry, imperialistic mass murderers whose president went after peace-loving Saddam and his Iraqis for their oil. There’s enough to attack about us that’s true — like that we don’t want gays to marry, for one, and we don’t want to pay for the government to give people health care — without having to make up this silly caricature.)

I dunno, maybe one day Mel Gibson or some other rich Hollywood conservative’ll throw a few hundred million into a conservative-themed, futuristic, CGI masterpiece like this one. But until then, liberal drivel will drive CGI’s growth (like porn the internet’s), forcing those who want to watch it unfold to sit through the Hollywood left’s inane, nihilistic, incoherent morality plays.

Categories: Avatar, Movie review