With all due respect to Cecil’s one-word review of Avatar, my one-word review would be “tragedy.” And not just the intentional kind, though there is plenty of that, wrapped up with a tidy Hollywood ending. I’m talking about the other kind of tragedy: a gazillion dollars worth of beautiful technology being deployed in service of a 99-cent script. What is this terrible hubris that prevents tech wizards like Cameron and George Lucas from hiring a co-writer to add some small element of soul to their opuses?

Honestly, the luscious visuals of this movie were quite involving for about 30 or 45 minutes; after that it was a matter of waiting for the trite, clunky mechanics of the plot to get very, very slowly to the obvious places they were going. It’s doubly tragic that, while Cameron’s ostensible agenda is on the side of the groovy, holistic blue Pandorans, it is fatally undermined by Avatar‘s apotheosis of technology and failure to connect with anything recognizably alive.

If this is the future of cinema, I’ll stick with the past, thank you very much.