If the trailers are any indication, James Cameron’s new movie, “Avatar,” will be the most visually spectacular cinematic experience since the Lord of the Rings films. Immersive. Awe-inspiring. Tremendous.
Alas, the trailers also tell us most of the movie’s plot, and from what I can glean, it’s basically Ewoks versus The Empire, this time on a $500M budget.
Uhhh…. Yah. OK. As has already been suggested, the entire film basically looks like, “Dances With Wolves… In Space.”
Ergo, beautiful, environmentally-friendly, ‘wise’ primitives versus the big, dumb, evil, destroying, colonizer, military people.
(sigh) Do we really need another Hollywood lecture-movie, in this regard? I feel as if most of my adult life I have been bombarded with such movies, to the point where I just want to put my hands up and say, “Okay, I fucking get it, jeez, will you stop the preaching?”
If “Avatar” is allegory — and from what I’ve seen of Cameron’s own comments, it is — then it’s just the same old romanticization of the Noble Savage, as has been happening since shortly after the first Euros set foot on North American soil. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I am kinda tired of that.
Personally, I think what happened to the Native Americans is a genuine and grotesque tragedy. But that doesn’t mean I also feel the need to gloss over what the Native Americans really were. And the word ‘savage,’ while not politically correct, is an apt descriptor for tribes that enslaved and decimated other tribes, as a matter of routine, or in the case of the Aztecs, regularly cut the hearts out of innocent young people in horrific religious ritual.
Will “Avatar” deign to show us the darker side of the Na’vi? Or will the Na’vi be just the Ba’ku — of Star Trek fame — in blue CGI makeup? Ergo, smart and perfect and all-knowing in a very tell-tale Southern California Liberal kind of way?
I will probably see the movie. When it comes to pay-per-view.