I’ve decided I am definitely an Avatar fanboi. Visually the movie was unbelievably impressive (if you haven’t seen it in 3D, you haven’t really seen it!), and the story…
Well, the story was basically “Pocahontas in Spaaaaaaaace” but I am willing to forgive that. There were enough nice details that I was able to ignore the derivative plot and most of the political grandstanding in order to just enjoy the movie.
The politics did get annoying, mostly when I wasn’t actually watching the movie. I get it, you know? Mankind tends to exploit natural resources that might otherwise be, like, useful; we tend to think with a club first (well, okay, second, but our first choice isn’t any better, being aimed at “procreation,” shall we say?). The humans are definitely the bad guys here, and the humans’ motivations are purely monetary (in one antagonist’s case) and domination-oriented (in the primary antagonist’s case).
Gregg Easterbrook suggested that the primary antagonist was a psychopath. I don’t know that that’s a valid analysis, but he was definitely out for blood from day one (perhaps in revenge for the native fauna being able to scar him?) I find it hard to see any human being as that focused, although I suppose the military would be able to do that kind of narrowing if anyone could.
The Na’vi were interesting. I don’t know why they were bipedal and the rest of the fauna were quadrapedal, though. (The Na’vi had two arms, two legs; the rest of the fauna had six limbs, not four.) I did find their possession of three fingers and a thumb very cool, though, when you consider the avatars had the standard human five digits. (I know I would miss a finger if it wasn’t there.)
I also don’t understand why their emotions and expressions had human equivalents. (Well, that’s not true. But if they were really alien, humans would 1) not be able to write them, and 2) not be willing to watch the movie. Fail.)
Excellent movie, although I hope that for the sequel, the Na’vi have designed defenses that can protect from a space-based attack, because if I was a human military leader and the Na’vi had repelled my people like that, I’d basically go in and destroy the Tree of Souls from above the atmosphere. End of Na’vi resistance; win.
That said, I’d also hope that humanity wouldn’t have tried to exploit a sentient species like that in the first place, and once having tried and failed, wouldn’t try again.
Aw, who am I kidding… of course we’d go back and try to club them to death.