Avatar - a Hollywood blockbuster with anti-American sentiments?


Avatar (2009, USA/UK)

Seen: Tuesday, 29th December 2009 (cinema)
Runtime: 162′
Director: James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez
Production House: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, Dune Entertainment, Giant Studios, Ingenious Film Partners, Lightstorm Entertainment
Plot: (from imdb)

In the future, Jake, a paraplegic war veteran, is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na’vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture.


Impressions In Short
The film is almost 3h and yet I didn’t get bored - that’s a big compliment for a special effect kind of movie ;) Seriously, I thought this would be a pretty bad film, but it was actually a very pleasant viewing.

More About the Film
It’s the first time I’ve seen a film in 3D and it’s quite a weird experience. I didn’t enjoy it much - my nose hurt from the glasses, they were very uncomfortable. Had a huge headache afterwards.
Some of the time the 3D felt as if someone or something was obscuring the screen. And sometimes it felt a bit like watching holograms in a museum. It took me a while to get used to it enough to start treating it like a movie.
The animation technology they used was indeed very effective. It was particularly impressive in scenes which had real footage mixed with animation. For me those are the scenes that usually jar - like you can see the animated creature and the human aren’t really looking at each other etc. Here, this looked much more real.
As for the plot, the film was much more interesting than I expected. If they’d had a slightly more warped sense of humour then the film would have become a comedy about Americans in a foreign culture. There were a few scenes which could have gone that way - I loved them *grin*
In terms of how it talks about the USA’s reasons to go to war, it’s a very bold film - almost political. The film was totally siding with the Na’vi (whose culture seemed to have a lot in common with Native Americans) and we were meant to cheer them on in kicking American buts because ethically it was the Americans who were in the wrong. It was interesting how Jake developed as a character. At the beginning he’s not easy to sympathize with. We see him making alliances with all the wrong people in the base etc. He becomes more endearing as he works his ass off to understand the Na’vi and falls in love with their culture.
In a way this film marks a certain change in people’s mentality I think. District 9 was a first taster of this - the idea that it might be us abusing the aliens rather than the other way round. This film is again a reminder that it’s us Western people who might be the “barbarians”.

Yes, I think… I mean it is very much a mainstream Hollywood movie, so if you’re not into those you’re probably not going to like it. But as far as mainstream films go, this one is a very pleasant viewing IMO.

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