Avatar has come under attack by a number of political and religious criticisms since its come out, but any time one of those organizations has the opportunity to soapbox they will try.
The religious assumptions that this somehow offends Hindus because of the word Avatar (which is descriptive, not specifically holy) and comparisons to Hindu or Native American traditions can be made, but not offended by. This is fiction – not a holy war.
But still we get a wide range of soapboxing online enciting everything from Anti-American assumptions, and even anti-god. Good thing this isn’t a true story huh?
Big Hollywood has a piece which bluntly concludes that “the bad guys in the movie are the United States Marines,” broadly missing the point that the characters in the film are ex-Marines who have been employed by a private company.
Cameron is from Canada, so clearly he has an anti military agenda to his films. Funny that people compare the corporate entity in Avatar to the same theme he used in Alien, but there was no agenda then.
MovieGuide (”A Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment”) review of the film. The quotes in this one come fast and furious but I think we can start here: AVATAR has an abhorrent New Age, pagan, anti-capitalist worldview that promotes goddess worship and the destruction of the human race.
Now MovieGuide is run by Dr. Ted Baehr a hardcore rightwing christian fundamentalist that takes offense to everything that doesnt directly sing god’s praises and therefore this movie is just going to piss him off. Its amazing this guy still thinks he has credibility. (Yes, I have had interactions with this rocket scientist before – while criticizing with me he asked for a donation to his organization so he could continue sending traffic to this site – a classy hypocrite)
AV Club writes: The movie’s most seditious act is to evoke the specter of September 11, only with the terms reversed…Cameron’s willingness to question the sacred trauma of 9/11 is audacious, and his ability to do so in a $300 million tentpole movie is nothing short of shocking. If Avatar has a claim to revolution, that is where it lies.
Yeah, because ANY film that shows a building (or bigass tree) falling down is clearly an offense to the victims of 9/11. Stretch much?
I guess movies are not allowed to have badguys in them anymore, because Zod forbid that they might be identifiable by some sort of negative trait.
At some point people will wake up and realize that fiction is just fiction. Sometimes there is a message in it.. sometimes you GET a message where one wasn’t intended. Sometimes its intended and it goes right over your head.
Now I am not saying that you need to turn off your brain when watching a movie (unless its Jackass – that will upset you if you try to THINK at all during that) but when criticizing its merits, at least make sense.
Its the same generalization we abhor in public life but its now acceptable when reviewing a film? Someone presents an evil heartless military leader and clearly it is meant to represent ALL of one nation’s military mindset?
If I met an Irishman and asked him why he wasn’t drunk and trying to start fights, he would be greatly offended. Just because ONE Irishman did that, doesn’t mean all of them share that trait. So why is it ok to do in a film? A single character is represented as being a heartless military meglomaniac, and suddenly its a statement assuming that the United States military is all like that?
Nice double standard.
Now if James Cameron was quoted in an interview saying “I think all American Military personelle are heartless violent warmongers, and that is what I wanted to present here” then fine. Call it what it is. Otherwise you are just HOPING that is the case so you have a soapbox to start preaching from.