If the fact that the main male alien character in James Cameron’s new futuristic, much-hyped movie ‘Avatar’ looks a lot like a smurfized, super-sized Robert Pattinson (or Legolas, for LOTR fans) with his own more adult love story (which is still chock full of fantasy and angst) isn’t enough to disturb you, then perhaps you’re down because the movie looks incredibly similar to a bomb called ‘Delgo’. Or maybe a teensy little plot point of the movie ‘Avatar’ is getting under your human skin; a plot point that a few lab mice recently made an even more blaring example of disappointing writing.
On the plus side, I highly doubt that ‘Avatar’ will get as cold as a reception as ‘Delgo’, even if would-be fanboys and fangirls are a bit disappointed about the elfin appearance of the blue aliens. (If being in 3-D can make ‘Final Destination 4’ a blockbuster, I’m sure James Cameron’s new movie will still be a hit of titanic proportions.) And although this new mice study makes a part of the movie pretty laughable, at least it’s a great discovery for mankind.
Anyway, here’s the stinky cheese: In ‘Avatar’, the main character is a frustrated, wheelchair-bound dude of the future who gets to play in the greatest videogame ever created. He’s given a real-life alien body to control, and is sent to a real-life alien planet where he falls in love with a real-life alien chick. The preview is pretty stunning, although I just don’t think it’s what everyone expected. (The techno-fanboys were hoping for a little more sci-fi, but there might be a little too much of it for the fanboys from Middle Earth). But this movie that dares to bridge the gap between sci-fi and fantasy has a bigger problem: why in the hell is the main character in a wheel chair? And this is where the laboratory mice whose spinal chords have been spliced step in.
Apparently those little troublemakers known as stem cells are at it again, and their latest evil is the ability to make partially-paralyzed mice walk again. Scientists injected partially-paralyzed mice with human neural stem cells, and lo and behold, they were able to walk again! Of course this is a miraculous discovery and the science hasn’t been perfected, so it’ll probably be a decade before any kind of actual treatment on people is done (or it could be even longer, if drug companies have their say), but it does create a big problem for the ‘Avatar’ wheel chair. It seems pretty certain that by the time we’re able to jet off to alien worlds, the meek wheel chair will be obsolete. Because if we aren’t curing paralysis with stem cells, we’ll be using some kind of cool mechanized legs or real “hover-rounds” that suspend us in the air by that time. Maybe James Cameron explains why the protagonist chooses the wheel chair over the other options that will be available in the future, but with all the plot holes I’ve seen in modern movies lately (yes, ‘District 9’ was full of them), somehow I highly doubt it.
Sure it’s a big plot problem, but would I miss this movie? No way! It’s all about the visuals, and while I doubt James Cameron will end up with his Precious (Oscar gold), he still has a chance at dethroning Peter Jackson as the Lord of the Geeks.