Oh, hey, guys: who noticed this headline?
I did! I noticed this headline! And to it, let me just say: hahahahaha. Hahahaha, haha, HAHAHAHA. Ha; ha ha!
Pause; I must catch my breath, with all this hilarity going on. Oh, how droll you are, Onion AV Club! Do go on, with this, your delightful joke. Although I don’t see how you’re going to match the headline!
Rather than a clunky work of agitprop the movie can—and, I think, ought to—be seen as a polemic, which makes criticism of its obviousness beside the point. Having Lang’s colonel refer to his plan to bomb the Na’vi into submission with the words “shock and awe” is not subtle, but it’s not meant to be.
Oh, I would IMAGINE NOT! My, but you are a delight this evening. Have you been sneaking into the brandy? Oh, wait, I see; you are not done.
It would be one thing if Avatar’s allegory stopped at a few repurposed catchphrases. But Cameron is after something much more ambitious, and substantially messier. At times, the corporation’s attempt to suppress the Na’vi resistance recalls the ongoing occupation of Iraq, and at times it evokes the jungle war of Vietnam. The attempt to wipe out an indigenous population to make way for the exploitation of natural resources resonates with the decimation of the rain forest and the genocide of Native Americans. The Na’vi belief in Eywa, an all-encompassing spirit that flows through every living thing on Pandora, parallels the holistic beliefs of the Plains tribes.
Oh, my. So, you mean to say that this particular movie – called “Dances with Wolves in Space,” subject to more Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest comparisons than any cultural artifact in recent memory save Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest itself, already noted for belonging to the benevolent racist “white guy saves and/or bangs the natives” (going Nativ’ei! GET IT) tradition of cinematic craftsmanship – actually attempts, much like many a terrible Star Wars prequel of years past, to wedge in an unnecessary, blatant, and manipulative set of parallels to the Iraq War, the American genocide of Native peoples, and some rainforest shit possibly also? Goodness! Such a feat has never been attempted until now! Or, to be more precise, such a feat has never been attempted by James Cameron, within the last month! Until now! It sounds less impressive when you phrase it that way, sure. But how does it work out?
The movie boils down to a master theory of European colonialism: an imperialist master narrative… The movie’s most seditious act is to evoke the specter of September 11.
Oh, right! The thing Battlestar Galactica did in 2003, you mean? Back when it was still vaguely shocking and a brave thing to do? But seven years later, and with Thundercats? I mean, I like a bright pretty bucketload of expensive cartoonery as much as anyone, you guys! Shit, you had me at “alien world” and “explosions.” Even if you can’t somehow get James Callis involved (WHY COULD YOU NOT GET JAMES CALLIS INVOLVED. Seriously, he does not have to bring his shirt, or have any lines. It can JUST BE HIM) that line will sell me.
But honestly: hahhahaha. HA. Hahahaha HAHAHAHA hahahahaha. Hahahahahahaha, hoo boy, ahhhhhhhhhh, we have fun. Say, there’s a movie named Titanic that I think you ought to check out! It contains lots of the complex and sophisticated politics of James Cameron, specifically those relating to Rich People and Poor People. Turns out, one of those types of people is SUPER-MEAN! It’s like Das Kapital, with boats. I think you’ll enjoy!