Avatar – part 3

Story

Pixar (and many others) say that story is king. If you don’t have a good story, well…no matter how many special effects you throw at it, you still have a weak story. So how does Avatar fare in the story department?

As I said in the tail end of part 2, this is where things start going downhill for me. If James Cameron wanted to ‘out do’ Star Wars (apparently he was a bit miffed when Star Wars came out – he wanted to be the one who created it) and if he wanted to do the next big thing in entertainment, then one would think that attention to the story would be a big concern. Well, apparently not. Sure, there really isn’t anything new under the sun, but to basically rework the Pocahontas story into an alien landscape seems a bit weak to me. I mean, come on, $500 million spent and all we can do is come up with a rework of someone else’s plot and story? It sounds like this may not be the first time.

I won’t go into the details of the story, or do a story analysis, but I was hoping for something, well, different. Maybe something that wasn’t obviously a story I’ve heard before. I like stories that make me think or put a few twists into an old story. In fact I just finished watching ‘Moon‘, and I thought it was more fun than Avatar (at least in the story department)! I had my hunches as to the basic premise of the story of ‘Moon’ in the first 30 minutes, but it was a fun ride to see how it would all work out. It made you think, “What would you do if you encountered another ‘you’?”

Moreover, a lot of the plot elements seemed to be artificially contrived. For example (and this is one of many), you have these natives with bows and arrows who (sorry for the story spoiler) beat a highly technologically advanced army that are armed to the teeth with rockets and bullets. So how exactly do they accomplish this fact? Hmm…let’s just make the Na’vi have their last stand where our rockets don’t lock on to them. C’mon, you really expect us to believe that you don’t have any other armaments that could do the job? Well, there were a lot of Na’vi and we were outnumbered! Wouldn’t a few hand grenades solve that problem?

Lastly, sure it was a ’serious’ movie, but I don’t think I laughed once through this entire movie. I know, it wasn’t meant to be a comedy, but nothing else? The only chuckle that this movie pulled out of me was when I watched the trailer where Jake Sully was told to empty his mind…and that it wasn’t a hard thing for him to do. Well, seeing that scene the second time around takes a bit of the edge off of the humor.

Oh well, apparently James Cameron’s strength isn’t story telling.

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