Review of Movie "Avatar" - by Noel (Ballyboden)

Last night I went to Avatar.  I have to confess at the outset that I am not a fan of fantasy or science fiction films but I had heard so much about this one that I was curious.  Overall, I am glad I saw it although with some reservations.

Without a doubt the special effects and the 3D cinematography are extremely impressive and engaging.  More than once I felt I had to duck, so impressive was the effect of things leaping out from the screen towards me.  This is where this film scores points - the reason to see this film is its special effects and for this reason it is worth seeing.

However, and it is a big however, the plot, in so far as you can say that there is a plot, is superficial and tedious with a level of predicability that left me wondering why it is a film that lasts 2 hours and 40 minutes.  In fact, almost after the first 20 minutes all the basic steps of the film to come are quite obvious.

Essentially it is a tale as old as time about the big and powerful trying to overcome the innocent and sincere.  This is the sort of message which is the stuff of mythic importance which touches us all and challenges us all but unfortunately in the context of Avatar it is dealt with in a yawningly frivolous way which takes refuge in some of the assumptions that, while fashionable, are not necessarily true.

George Orwell, in Animal Farm, wrote the famous line: "Four legs good, two legs bad".  While it communicates a message I think that we all realise that it is a rather simplistic portrayal of a much more complex reality.  Avatar presents an image of "Primitive good, Developed bad" which oversimplifies the reality.

If modern learning has taught us anything it is that both the industrial development of the West and the naivete of the developing world must teach each other and that neither has the whole answer.

Overall I give Avatar 9 out of 10 for effects and 2 out of 10 for plot and message.  However, for the effects alone it is probably worth watching - perhaps might be an idea to leave after an hour or so.

I would be very interested to see what others thought about it - if you want to discuss it leave a comment in the forum


Article posted on 7th of February 2010