James Cameron weighs in with another morally repugnant movie that, like "Titanic", portrays self sacrifice and primitivism as one's highest moral end.
by Mike Renzulli
James Cameron's Science Fiction epic, Avatar, has very impressive, cutting-edge special effects, spine tingling action and good acting.
However, the movie's overall message makes it worse than J.J. Abrams' Star Trek and ties with Gene Roddenberry's franchise reboot as the worst movie of the year.
Avatar takes place in the future on Pandora, a moon of a gas giant named Polyphemus, that is located over 4 light years from Earth. Pandora is being explored for certain resources that Earth needs since Earth's economy is bad.
Pandora is a lush, tropical planet filled with unique wildlife and is inhabited by a race of primitive humanoid beings called the Na'vi.
One Na'vi tribe occupies an area of the moon that is plentiful in Unobtainium that a private corporation wants to extract since the mineral would be of some use on Earth and is extremely valuable.
The U.S. military is also present to give logistical support and protection to the company's efforts. A Marine named Jake Sully travels to Pandora to take his dead brother Tony's place in which Jake assumes control of his brother's Na'vi avatar in order to make contact with Pandora's natives.
Jake Sully is paralyzed from the waist down as the result of an injury he sustained while participating in a combat mission on Earth. He is the only person who can successfully use his twin brother's avatar since Jake's genetic material is the same as Tony's.
After assuming the use of the avatar Jake begins the task to win the Na'vi's trust in hopes of convincing them to allow the Unobtainium to be mined. Sully conducts this mission in hopes of getting an expensive operation done to recieve a new set of legs that is promised to him by the Pandora Earth colony's Marine commander.
Upon interacting with the local Na'vi tribe Jake Sully begins to appreciate their way of life and goes so far as to befriend a Na'vi woman who is also the tribal chief's daughter.
In scenes obviously inspired by Dances-with-Wolves, Jake becomes torn between his duty as a Marine and the existence of the Na'vi that he has learned to know and love.
Where the movie goes bad isn't so much Jake's conflict as much as it is the movie's underlying plot.
In Avatar the primitive and simplistic lifestyle of the Na'vi, the native's quasi-Gaia worship of Pandoara's ecology and their diety, Eyra, is portrayed as a moral virtue while the company representative and most of the military members are shown in the film in a negative, one-dimensional light which demonstrates where Cameron's loyalties lie.
We also see Cameron's political sympathies in one other film he made which was the highest grossing film of all time: Titanic.
Not only did Titanic generate lots of ticket sales, it is also the apple of almost every Marxist's cinematic eye.
The overall message in Titanic, simply put, is one of egalitarianism. No one is better than anyone else, we are all equal, wealth is bad, being poor is good and, while you are at it, don't think for yourself.
Now Cameron has weighed in (yet again) with another morally repulsive movie that, like Titanic, it portrays self sacrifice as one's highest moral end.
This time it is a nod to the evil philosophy of environmentalism that calls for the destruction of human life by indirectly calling for people to sacrifice their lives and livelihoods to the needs of nature.
This message is embodied not only by Jake Sully's actions during most of the movie but also the Earth scientist's hypothesis that the ecosystem of Pandora is interconnected and should not be touched while at the same time symbolically ridiculing criticism of this idea and simulataneously condemning economic development in the form of utilizing a planet's resources.
While one could appreciate Avatar from an aesthetic perspective because of it's great special effects and acting, however, the artistic elements of the film are obviously secondary to its awful philosophical message.
The movie itself is said to be one of the most expensive movies ever made. At a price tag of up to $300 to $400 million Avatar opening box office returns garnered the film $27 million. So far, Avatar has earned over $200 million in domestic ticket sales.
Not a great start but time will tell how audiences are receptive to it. It is my hope that movie goers will take their dollars to see films other than James Cameron's platform to propagandize for his subtle, anti-human sermon.
The Case Against the State - Libertarian Morality - Nick Coons
Environmental Tyranny - Austin Raynor
The Many Faces of Avatar - Kimberly Ruff
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That is funny, but can Patrick make me into an avatar too, just for kicks, I would love to see how I look, he he. One of my FAV mveios ever, I so wish I lived on Pandora. Hugs, Bella :)
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