Okay - so - first rule - DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THE MOVIE.
I'm serious. I'm going to talk spoiler stuff.
Go and watch the movie, then come back and let's chat.
Have you watched it?
For a whole year I've had this image as one of the wallpapers on my desktop computer, it flips over with a few pieces of anime art every half-hour. Basically, what I am trying to say, is that I was excited for the next Avatar movie since there was even a whisper of its existence.
The first Avatar movie took me to a happy place. I rewatched it for the first time in about ten years the other night, and I could not stop smiling. Something warm swelled up inside me, and I felt so --
If The Way of Water achieved this feeling in me, then, I knew James Cameron's next installment was on the right path.
And it did.
I had the wonderful opportunity to see the movie with my cousin, and that feeling just bubbled up all over again.
As I was sitting talking to my sister about the movie, I was trying to think of what the feeling really was - the critics were giving it a hard time already, the storyline was getting a bad wrap, blaah blaah, blaah - etc. etc. - but - meh - what do I care about critics.
They're pretty much wrong about every movie ever.
It was immersive, beautiful and it made me happy.
I want to go back. I want to watch it again, to dive back into the water and feel that warmth, just like first movie made want to explore the forests and the skies.
Okay. What did I like about this movie other than the stunning graphics and beautiful scenery, which yes, is totally worth going to see on the big screen.
I love that it was about FAMILY. A Father protecting his children. A Mother protecting her children. Parents' disagreeing, but still working together because they respect and love each other. Siblings standing up for each other, while still being - you know - siblings and squabbling a bit.
This movie felt like it understood the foundations of family.
And I really - really - enjoyed that.
So - I do I tend to get my knickers in a knot about female characters these days not maintaining their femininity. I actually wrote a WHOLE blog post about it the other day, but decided not to post it because I was being very mean, and I don't like being mean. ^_^;
Well - this movie did a fabulous job of keeping Neytiri as a stunning warrior while also balancing that with motherhood. My gosh, I was so excited to see this balance. This was, I feel, done with great respect and dignity, with all the females. They all have their roles, and they didn't feel forced.
I really appreciated the respect to femininity. I also appreciated the respect to fatherhood. Which feels so rare in modern media.
It was wholesome to watch a movie about protecting family, and home.
Now onto the thing that broke the immersion for me, and this is just me being a writer and getting all weird with a plot, because I spend all my time glaring at my own stories and their plots. *breathes*
Okay - so - in the beginning of the movie they have to come up with a convoluted way to bring back Colonel Quaritch - who was killed by Neytiri and Sully at the end of the first movie. They do this by explaining that they had the Colonel and his men download their 'consciousnesses/memories' before the 'Big Battle' just encase they all died.
Then, they put those memories into a cloned Avatar body. So basically, we now have a version of Colonel Quaritch - who is pretty much a whole new hybrid species - who remembers everything, minus the Big Battle and his death.
Now, put a pin in that.
Fast forward to pretty much half way through the movie. We discover the reason why Humans' have returned to Pandora is because of this super amazing anti-aging liquid that can only be found in the brain's of these awesome giant whales. A tiny vial is worth millions. It stops aging and basically gives immortality --
Hold on --
This is when my brain went into overdrive.
Back up -- back up --
You can download memories into a chip, which you can then upload into an Avatar body that is cloned with a human body. So I presume these humans, in this science fiction universe, can clone normal human bodies? Not just Na'vi, right? If you can mix both a human and a Na'vi, I have to then presume you can clone JUST a human body.
And if you can clone just a human...and implant that "blank slate" human with memories...
Basically - they already have immortality.
Why would they need to spend MASSIVE amounts of money getting some anti-aging liquid and being hugely wasteful - I mean SO wasteful - when they can already clone.
Not just clone - you can make a hybrid species! Why are you even bothering putting any humans on a planet that has toxic atmosphere. Make a bunch of Avatars, and colonise the planet through integration.
My gosh, what a terrifying story that would be. Our world - Earth - is dying - so humans overwhelm another world by literally breeding out the indigenous population. I mean, it doesn't matter what form humanity lives on in, you have the ability to transfer memoires and CLONE PEOPLE.
That isn't even getting into the complexity of how Pandora the planet is supposed to be some sort of large living organism that has its own will, which the Na'vi can pretty much log into at different locations.
What if you mixed that up with human's now being able to store memories, and clone things, and what mess would would that make of the Na'vi's entire ancestral system.
That's where my brain went. I don't know if this is a plot hole, or if it's even an issue at all - but it feels like an issue to me. If I'd been sitting in the writer's room, I'd have raised it and tried to write something else about why humans' are invading Pandora. Like yes, in this story - the human's are bad. Boo, boo, we killed Earth, we're trying to invade and destroy another world and something about colonization something environmentalism -- I guess my hope is that somewhere along this story -- there is a story arc for the human's to learn and grow too. Maybe we decide to use our apparently super epic technology (really epic technology) to capture some asteroids and build ourselves a planet.
Anyway - yes - I really enjoyed Avatar: The Way of Water. I really, really hope we get another Avatar movie. I am really looking forward to the story James Cameron is trying to tell, and I think it is awesome that he is getting the opportunity to tell his story and share it with the whole world. If only all creative people could be so blessed.