Avatar: A Review

Iraqi Child Maimed by American Munitions

by Wes J. Pimentel

OK, let's get the review knocked out before we get to the important stuff. Great movie; incredible special effects; visually stunning; consistently entertaining; incredible and seamless CGI work. Thank you to everyone involved. You all made a wonderfully entertaining movie.

The really important part of this movie is the message, though. As I read through the other reviews of this movie I am shocked at how many seemingly sapient beings seem to have completely missed the point of this movie's story. Hello? Bueller?

Wow. Do they have to spell it out in 3-D graphics on the screen? Are you serious? The political slant in this movie is so obvious that by the time the characters start saying things like "martyrdom" and "terrorists" I wanted to scream "OK! I get it! Americans suck for invading Iraq!" I am honestly flabbergasted at how many "reviewers" seem to have missed this colossal soap-box message.

SPOILER ALERT (from here on out I will be discussing details of the movie that you would probably rather read after you see it.)

So, basically the movie goes like this: 1) prior marine loses PhD brother who is supposed to take part in a military/corporate/scientific program that allows people to inhabit the minds of these genetically engineered alien/human hybrids and walk around in their bodies, 2) the marine takes the place of his brother and is sent to the planet where the program is taking place (Pandora) to be introduced to his "avatar" and be acquainted with his new duties as a "driver" of it. Why are humans invading Pandora? Because there are rich deposits of a very valuable mineral under their ground (sound familiar?). 3) The ex-marine is tasked with infiltrating the native population and reporting mission-essential intelligence back to a military leader who is charged with clearing the area above the deposits of its inhabitants who will probably resist just leaving their homes so we (humans/Americans) can just have their underground valuables, 4) after being exposed to the plight of the native people the marine becomes sympathetic to their struggle and enamored with their way of life, 5) instead of continuing his life as a human/American (given the political overtones, the terms "American" and "human" are interchangeable) he elects to permanently take the form of this human/alien hybrid and be one of the natives.

So, what is the message here? It is that if any of the American service members could walk in the shoes of the poor, defenseless people we are currently killing, that person would probably be outraged and ashamed of being a part of our corporate-lead, for-profit war program (the term "Defense program" is a joke when it comes to American military operations), and they would probably immediately want out of the military.

One of the most telling moments of the movie is the part where the military members are accosted for attacking a target that they know contains children. The military members don't seem bothered by this and decide that the risk to the lives of the children is acceptable, seeing as how the native population has been reframed as a bunch of savages and animals (sound familiar?). This is the reason I chose the picture I did to represent this review. It is a photograph of an Iraqi child who Americans bombed. Don't let anyone fool you. The American military knowingly bombs children all the time. We even have a term for it; it's called collateral damage. Basically, it means that killing children is fine, as long as we're keeping up the facade of killing bad guys along the way.

I agree with the message of this movie. America is a war-mongering, imperialist, war-profiteering disgrace of a country. I am truly ashamed to ever have been a part of our military. I hereby formally apologize to everyone in the Middle-East for being a part of this evil enterprise. I am sorry that we've killed your children and it saddens me that so many Americans are STILL in denial about all this.

Make no mistake; I am a true patriot. I don't mean a flag-waving redneck who ignorantly agrees with whatever the right-wing agenda spoon-feeds me on Fox News. I mean my heart breaks every time I think about what our forefathers set out to do, how successfully it started, and how disgustingly perverse it has become. Get it straight - I LOVE AMERICA (the people that make up our country). I hate killing children and sacrificing our own young people so that a few rich people at the top can keep lining their pockets with the blood of the poor. I am sure that most working-class Americans have more in common with the people we kill everyday than we do with our "leaders".

So, the movie was great. Yay. 

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Comments 1 comment

Lwelch profile image

Lwelch 6 years ago from USA

I liked it a lot as well. I guess I can see the military slant. I saw it more as another kick at the treatment of Native cultures. The mention in the movie about "you don't know how to listen" and us trying to change the ways of the natives but they don't want our schools, clothes, etc seemed like a textbook retelling of us trying to resettle Native Americans and give them a new, "better" culture. Especially as we view that population as being "closer" to the earth. This is a scene that played out here with the various countries that laid stake to this soil. It also has played out in Australia with the Aboriginal people. I am sure other countries have seen it as well. The one conflict here though was that the protagonist was both human and alien at once. No one has ever been both Native in Body and Non-native in body. Granted, cultures have created hybrids. There were shades of the Ender's Game book Speaker for the Dead. The planet being a Gaia like ecosystem with sentients connecting with trees and the like was very reminiscent of the Piggies in that book and our misunderstanding of them and their "violent" culture. I do want to watch Avatar again this time in 3D.

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