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Crappy plot needed the Evil Overlord's List.
  • If a member of my science team dies and his crippled-but-fixable twin brother is the only possible replacement, I will have the brother sign a contract and fix him before he is shipped out.
  • I will not have Starcraft players design my equipment. If I can bring battle-suits and bulldozers, I can bring long-range artillery.
  • If I am not dedicated to the cause of evil, I will not have a lunatic as my chief military officer.
  • If I am evil, my science/psy-ops team will be screened for such annoying qualities as "mercy" and "ethics".
  • If I am willing to wage a war of extermination, I will prepare for this. If my science team can clone them, it should also be able to design contagious bioweapons.
  • Prisoners will not be guarded by one guy in an insecure room.
  • Hangars will be guarded so my battle-scarred commander does not have to hold his breath and start shooting at them himself.
  • If two thousand primitives that I can track from orbit are a mortal threat to hundreds of my soldiers, I will ponder where my life went wrong.
  • If I forgot to bring tanks, but have brought lots of large bulldozers capable of easily smashing through trees, I will incorporate the bulldozers in my front line.
  • I will give my army weapons that can quickly kill local fauna, particularly if my army is stronger than normal humans.
  • Schools that teach English will get as much information from the natives as they can. My entire intelligence apparatus will not be one guy on a vision quest.
  • If my top scientist says that the trees are a neural network larger than a human brain, I will believe her and convene my strategy team to use that information against it. And I will actually have a strategy team.
  • If I have orbital capabilities, I will bomb things from orbit instead of having people dump things out the back of a shuttle.
  • If I'm the vision-quest guy and I need to leave my host body, I will tell my alien girlfriend this well in advance.
  • If I find myself leading a tribe of savages against a modern-equipped army, I will teach them at least the basics of guerilla warfare, so they don't charge into machineguns.
  • If I win such a conflict, I will demand that the remaining humans develop a defensive infrastructure in case we are attacked again.
  • If I have $300M to spend on a movie, I will not pay a third-grader ten bucks to write the script.
Question: how soon can you start writing Avatar 2 and how many millions of dollars will you need?
comment #7769 spikesmeagol 24th May 11
"I will not have Starcraft players design my equipment. If I can bring battle-suits and bulldozers, I can bring long-range artillery. "

Um, they *have* long-range artillery in Star Craft. They're called "Siege Tanks"; it's in the name.

The problem is that Star Craft players *didn't* design the equipment. Otherwise, everyone would have been in power-armor and the Navi would have been face-stomped in minutes.
comment #7773 Korval 25th May 11
Doesn't change the fact that this review is AWESOME.
comment #7792 RajeshMotie 26th May 11
Excellent review. This isn't why I hate the movie personally but I like it whenever anyone beats up on this thing.
comment #7818 gibberingtroper 29th May 11
I doubt a contract would have stopped Jake from defecting.

Given the choice between staying on Pandora with a hot alien babe(well, that's how he sees it. Personally, I don't get it.) and going back to earth to face a trial and what not.
comment #7895 Anaheyla 2nd Jun 11
"well, that's how he sees it. Personally, I don't get it"

This was one of the major stumbling blocks for me enjoying the movie. There are plenty of things I can ignore in pursuit of a good time, including a flat and cliché-ridden story. But I cannot wrap my head around anyone being sexually attracted to and falling in love with another species, no matter how anatomically close they are. At least in other sci-fi/fantasy fiction I've read they have a hand wave like, "Um, okay, the hero drinks a love potion, see, and that makes him forget he's basically screwing a cat."
comment #7896 tublecane 2nd Jun 11
Spike: Since it's the sequel, I'll need twice as much. 50 million for casting and personnel, 100 million for graphics, 50 million for other expenses, and the remaining 400 million will be devoted to hookers and blow.

Korval: I was referring to the concept of range. In almost any RTS, it's totally impossible to have artillery that can kill things from literally miles away. In real life, we do have that. Futuristic artillery should have been able to smack them from anywhere on the planet (and, still, there's always orbit). Any competent military, even a Star Craft one, would have re-enacted The Salvation War on their asses.
comment #7921 Eugenitor 3rd Jun 11
Done, on one condition: Bring back Colonel Quaritch and give him a battalion of EVA units.
comment #8124 spikesmeagol 16th Jun 11
Can a review be given a Made Of Win? This one MORE than deserves it.
comment #9800 Tuckerscreator 10th Sep 11 (edited by: Tuckerscreator)
"This was one of the major stumbling blocks for me enjoying the movie. There are plenty of things I can ignore in pursuit of a good time, including a flat and cliché-ridden story. But I cannot wrap my head around anyone being sexually attracted to and falling in love with another species, no matter how anatomically close they are. At least in other sci-fi/fantasy fiction I've read they have a hand wave like, "Um, okay, the hero drinks a love potion, see, and that makes him forget he's basically screwing a cat.""

Lol. I'm not sexually attracted to it so it shouldn't make sense that anyone else can? Oh, and I like how closely "sexually attracted" and "falling in love" are interwined.

Never saw the movie, but the review is still hilarious.
comment #9801 eveil 10th Sep 11
Think I might paste this on IMDB where an alarming number of people seriously claim it's the best movie evr made in the past 100 years.
comment #10037 Khuratokh 17th Sep 11
This review is witty, informative, and provide evidence at the same time. Have a star.
comment #10044 chihuahua0 17th Sep 11
This review is very funy and pins the errors the cast suffered from. Well done!
comment #10045 Ailedhoo 17th Sep 11
You do realize that the core concept of the Evil Overlord list only works if you have an Evil Overlord, right? The Company is not immoral, but amoral. It's motivation is money, not exterminating populations for the lulz.

Most of the counters boil down to: 1) The motivation is money. 2) Stress leading to madness.
comment #10048 MajinGojira 18th Sep 11
The Evil Overlord list is not of the immoral characturs but of villains in general. Money and lulz are similar motivations. Such be they are "villains" according to the film.
comment #10051 Ailedhoo 18th Sep 11
The way the list is phrased it's assuming Ming the Merciless style villainy, not a mining expedition with mercenary backup suffering under a public relations nightmare, largely isolated from resupply and support.

It just don't fit.
comment #10081 MajinGojira 18th Sep 11
No: the list is design for ALL kind of antagonists! It is called a list of the Genre Savvy, not of The Emperor!
comment #10085 Ailedhoo 18th Sep 11 (edited by: Ailedhoo)
Allow me to demonstrate how wrong you are and how blinded you are by your emotional investment.

I will not have Starcraft players design my equipment. If I can bring battle-suits and bulldozers, I can bring long-range artillery.

Assumes open war is the primary objective. Further, given their limited use in such an engagement, such artillery would be more a burden than a boon. In the vietnam conflict, Tanks were not that great partially because of terrain.

Throw in things that can tear it apart pretty well, and...well, that's a waste of money especially since you have air support (There's more than one kind way to achieve long range bombardments).

If I am not dedicated to the cause of evil, I will not have a lunatic as my chief military officer.

Fails to take into account the long term effects of both isolationist and PTSD. And unless you have regular psyche evals (which would take forever to get done given the distances involved), finding out when they snap and then doing something about it quickly would be nigh impossible.

If I am evil, my science/psy-ops team will be screened for such annoying qualities as "mercy" and "ethics".

Look at that, an assumption.

If I am willing to wage a war of extermination, I will prepare for this. If my science team can clone them, it should also be able to design contagious bioweapons.

And the same assumption, rephrased.

Both illustrate that the composure of the list does not understand why the company was there and what the main motivation of any company is.

The PR department would be in an uproar if they tried something like this and it might just cost them the rights to the site.

If two thousand primitives that I can track from orbit are a mortal threat to hundreds of my soldiers, I will ponder where my life went wrong.

That's not even a correction! A proper Evil Overlord list points out what the person SHOULD do. Not only is it failing because of its base assumption, but failing at even being an evil overlord list.

If I forgot to bring tanks, but have brought lots of large bulldozers capable of easily smashing through trees, I will incorporate the bulldozers in my front line.

Which will slow down your forces, make it an obvious target and allow the enemy more time to set up perimeter defenses.

So much for improved tactics from the list, eh?

Schools that teach English will get as much information from the natives as they can. My entire intelligence apparatus will not be one guy on a vision quest.

Assumes things the audiences now knows will happen through the course of the film rather than working from what was known at the time of the plan by the characters. The one guy is the only 'Agent' who ever got in to begin with and the only one who would be sympathetic to the military's point of view among those in the Avatar Program.

They had a lucky break and used it.

If they had planned to infiltrate and subvert them from the beginning, then the entire situation would have been far different upon the beginning of the film.

If my top scientist says that the trees are a neural network larger than a human brain, I will believe her and convene my strategy team to use that information against it. And I will actually have a strategy team.

Welcome to Stress. People do stupid shit when stressed. One of the faults of the evil overlord list is that it assumes the villain is a stress-less, perfectly foresighted being without any character faults to make them interesting and vulnerable.

Throw in budget cuts and a company that wants to make more money over any other concern (like any good company), and, well...

If I have orbital capabilities, I will bomb things from orbit instead of having people dump things out the back of a shuttle.

Getting into orbit is one thing, getting into orbit with something to drop and doing so well is a bit harder to pull off. Worse, they only have so much fuel for said ships. Doing that may cost you the ability to get back home for a decade.

If I find myself leading a tribe of savages against a modern-equipped army, I will teach them at least the basics of guerilla warfare, so they don't charge into machineguns.

Wait, if this is an "Evil Overlord" list, then why does it switch sides with its complaints? All I ask is for SOME consistency!

Hell, the last one isn't even about the events IN the film, but a meta-narrative complaint, which runs completely against the purposes off an Evil Overlord list.

The list is moronic, bad and barely even an Evil Overlord list.
comment #10110 MajinGojira 20th Sep 11
Majin Gojira@

The review was looking at the common sence of it all: it is not moronic as you label it and the last one mentioned was just also perhapes a nod in the arogance of the Na'vi. War may not exactly be the primal aim but not prepering for one leaves one defenceless. As for the orbit thing remember: when you can travel to a planet from far away you should be able to easy deploy orbital units such as possible bombardment capibilities.

As for the review itself... it is a nice parody but need a bit more detail on the plot... let again it does serve in pointing out the illogical notions of the company. Yes tanks may seem against the instention but would one not be prepered just in case? Or at least bring artillier in case they end up in some short of conflict?
comment #10191 Ailedhoo 22nd Sep 11
I'm a little disturb of how much I've been defending a movie I didn't even like that much so often. I know a lot of you didn't like the movie, but even when even when you see someone write something negative about said movie, think about what their saying. The list suffers from mayor strategic flaws that are boiled to, it's possible so they should had, not taking into account anything else like outside source, probability, time, etc. and that it's viewed from a future perspective. In our history we have had our fair share of wars, look at a few of them so you would see how the list is flawed.

If I am not dedicated to the cause of evil, I will not have a lunatic as my chief military officer.

Because lunatics put that quality on their resumes?.

If I am evil, my science/psy-ops team will be screened for such annoying qualities as "mercy" and "ethics".

Because they're not evil, and the movie is not a Black And White Morality one, if they were they would had used Appeal To Force since the beggining, maybe even tape it to have a good laugh about it later. As the military leader I will talk about how much I'm against mercy and ethics in a war were we are the invaders, you know in case no one read the lunatic section on my resume that I mentioned early.

If I win such a conflict, I will demand that the remaining humans develop a defensive infrastructure in case we are attacked again.

(I'm sorry if I sound a little mean on this one but) Behold my amazing powers to see the future of a fictional work.

Schools that teach English will get as much information from the natives as they can. My entire intelligence apparatus will not be one guy on a vision quest

(or this one) I will watch the movie, pay attention this time and remember the part where they said they already tried this and failed to get much info.
comment #10194 marcellX 23rd Sep 11 (edited by: marcellX)
I'm with marcellX. I enjoyed the movie, but it's not even on my DVD shelf.

The review was looking at the common sence of it all: it is not moronic as you label it and the last one mentioned was just also perhapes a nod in the arogance of the Na'vi.

Then why label itself as an Evil Overlord type list? If that is the style you're going for, you need to stick to that style. Deviation from what you claim to be doing can work sometimes, but this is not one of them.

And the last bit of defense is such a stretch it's laughable.

As for the orbit thing remember: when you can travel to a planet from far away you should be able to easy deploy orbital units such as possible bombardment capibilities.

Which speaks of a gross underestimation of how hard space travel really is, even with the added benefits of the universes' tech. This isn't Star Wars, this is barely even Alien. Aside from the Pandoran life forms themselves, this is a very hard scale sci-fi.
comment #10214 MajinGojira 24th Sep 11 (edited by: MajinGojira)
Majin Gojira@

This... film... is a hard scale sci-fi? Pandoran life forms and the god complex around do not make it hard: it makes it soft.

Also: just because it labels itself a Evil Overlords list does not mean it is just for overloads: it is for those wishing to be Genre Savvy villains.

Finally: statalights are not hard sci-fie? Dropping something from space can oocure... epecilliy in a universe with some ailien god in it...
comment #10215 Ailedhoo 24th Sep 11
First of all I'm not trying to be mean, but Ailedhoo, please, please, please read carefully before reply something, because I've seen you make that mistake a lot. It's like you're so eager to make a comeback that you don't bother analyzing or at times even finish reading.

Majin Gijora: "Aside" from the Pandoran life forms themselves, this is a very hard scale sci-fi.

Ailedhoo: Pandoran life forms and the god complex around do not make it hard: it makes it soft
comment #10247 marcellX 25th Sep 11 (edited by: marcellX)
It's clear that Ailedhoo is so passionate about his opinion that he is willing to fire off the very first reaction that comes to mind. His passion is clearly clouding his judgement as given by his poor grammar ("a evil overlords list", "for overloads", statalights, sci-fie, oocure, epicilliy, 'ailien'').

Furthermore: Also: just because it labels itself a Evil Overlords list does not mean it is just for overloads: it is for those wishing to be Genre Savvy villains

No, it's a wish for competent villains. Competent villains are often genre savvy, but competence is not always a part of villainy.

Finally: statalights are not hard sci-fie?

No, but in hard sci-fi it's not something that is easily done, especially given limited resources (and the setup time for an orbital "Rod from God" weapon).

You're not paying attention, Ailedhoo. I suggest you step back and calm down a bit before responding.

And by virtue of having said that, I think I know exactly what the response is going to be...
comment #10282 MajinGojira 26th Sep 11
I think we all need to settle our minds: we are getting very worked up. I will try to charm myself down when it comes to this then, since my passion makes my opion "seen clouding judgement."
comment #10287 Ailedhoo 26th Sep 11
Well, that's a refresher. I thought you were going to entrench and defend with extra vitriol.

Kudos! Well done! Thank you for bucking the trend!
comment #10291 MajinGojira 26th Sep 11
comment #10725 SantosLHalper 12th Oct 11 (edited by: SantosLHalper)
Still hanging around here defending this movie from its emotionally-invested detractors this late after the furor over the movie's died down. Wow, that's devotion to your art.
comment #11347 starofjusticev21 13th Nov 11 (edited by: starofjusticev21)
-comes back after a few months out of curiosity-

-laughs very, very hard-

Oh, man. Face it. On the sliding scale of hardness, Avatar is somewhere between "wet sponge" and "marshmallow". They have enough fuel to take a massive ship between *star systems*, in a reasonable-enough timeframe that a company makes good on its investment, and they don't have enough left over for emergencies- like, well, to send something into orbit to fend off a hostile alien lifeform? But yet, somehow, they do have enough fuel to send in a fleet of slow aircraft that can be attacked by pterodactyls on steroids, putting a great many difficult-to-replace soldiers at risk? And somebody is seriously here trying to defend this mess? Here, wait, look. I've got some schematics for a B-52. From 1955. It flies at 300 miles an hour at high altitude, and it can't be affected by whatever bullshit "interference" the same way as the rest of your stuff can, because it has no modern electronics. Have your crews go make one of those instead, it'll work better than that silly shuttle thing.

And if you can't build on-site factories, or extract local deuterium/tritium/whatever, or mine local resources beyond the Unobtanium you were sent in for- you have no business engaging in interstellar travel, period. You need to bring the tools to make tools with you, like in a real, historical, colony. Trying to bring enough fuel with you for the trip back is mind-bogglingly stupid. You need to carry as little mass as possible. If you're about to defend this movie here, go pick up a serious book on the topic sometime.

As for the Colonel, he was a ridiculous caricature. It's like the audience got a big sign pointing to this person saying "THIS IS THE BAD GUY". You replaced him with someone just as bloodthirsty but more realistic- Colonel Jessup from A Few Good Men gets my vote- and the Na'vi would have been a memory in hour two of this movie, because Jessup was a fucking colonel and not just some dumbass calling himself one. He better damn well have a fucking army worth the name, and if he has to go to war with the army he has instead of the army he wants, he'll use everything he can. Bulldozers (to clear an area if nothing else- why fight where the enemy wants you?), Avatars if he can use them, everything that can be put to a military purpose. Because that's what the fuck you do in total war. They had no reason whatsoever to believe that the aliens would let them leave alive.

They had months to prepare. The majority of the people there knew the aliens were potentially hostile. If they weren't arming up with whatever they could, they're morons. Especially after they were told that the aliens were organized and committed to defending their tree. How many other sci-fi movies feature the humans receiving important information about the aliens' biology and psychology... and then proceeding to totally ignore it? These star-traveling humans, without any certainty of what the aliens could do, with months of time, couldn't even cook up a nice, fat spray of Agent Orange? You can make that shit in a high-school chemistry lab if you know what you're doing.

But they couldn't possibly put THAT in this movie. It'd ruin James Cameron's oh-so-precious vision if Pandora's foliage got murdered by the acre. Never mind that these humans are fighting for everything they have, we have to preserve the CG. Because that's what's important in this three-hour shitfest.

And, hell- All of those doctors who had people going into other beings' bodies, a psychedelic experience to be sure, and you mean to tell me they didn't bring one shrink? Not to mention the whole "light-years away from your family" thing, and the "stuck on an alien planet" thing. Maybe the company was run by Scientologists or something?

Speaking of shrinks, that's the real problem with this movie- it was schizophrenic. You had this presumably amoral company who didn't care about anything but money, you had this mercenary group who was all OORAH KILL 'EM, and you had this science team that was about as much of a touchy-feely liberal bastion as you could possibly get... and somehow all of these people were sent by the same company to accomplish the same goal? Somebody at Interplanetary Exploitation, Inc. or whatever the company was needed a much, much better HR department and a good vice-president to provide this mess with effective leadership. In other words, an evil overlord.

The more I think about it, the more ridiculous this gets. We're told, by the movie, to accept its paradigms- that the Na'vi are this indigenous tribe and the colonists are these Europeans attempting to seize local resources.. but the moment you put that away and look at it as (most of) the humans realistically would have, as the only humans in the system trying to survive on an extremely hostile world, with unfriendly alien sophonts, lethal fauna, they can't breathe the air, and they find out even the *trees* want them gone... the whole basis of the movie falls apart. The humans would have used their technological superiority at every turn because it's all they had. The original review shows how it falls apart even within its own framework, but it's a lot worse than that. Company or not, it's still a bunch of people a very, very long way from home on a very, very alien planet, and any overlord, evil or not, would have spent every last bit of effort he had into keeping them around.

This isn't a hard sci-fi. It's a planet-sized idiot ball.
comment #11724 Eugenitor 4th Dec 11 (edited by: Eugenitor)
Eugenitor, I declare this comment to be Made Of Win. You are awarded one internet.
comment #12914 LongGunner15 20th Feb 12
I agree with Majin Gojira. The only thing I'll congratulate you on is how much effort you put into this.
comment #12915 VeryMelon 20th Feb 12
I keep thinking of the Last Airbender every time I see this review. But yeah, anyway this did have a lot of cliches and the list was entertaining.
comment #12955 qtjinla15 23rd Feb 12
"Lol. I'm not sexually attracted to it so it shouldn't make sense that anyone else can?"

This is not a matter of my personal taste, but rather the well established fact that different species, resumably especially ones from different planets, do not have sex with eachother. I feel silly for having to explain this. No doubt you've never experienced tran-species love.

Yes, there are dog/wolf and horse/donkey couples, and in light of that I shouldn't have said "no matter how anatomically close they are." But the humans/Na'vis relationship doesn't appear to me to be akin to dogs and wolves.

"Oh, and I like how closely 'sexually attracted' and 'falling in love' are interwined."

They often are, especially so for romantic love. They may not be synonymous, but seeming as how the characters in question both fall in love and have sex I find the discrepency irrelevant.
comment #13384 tublecane 22nd Mar 12
To respond to some of the complaints above.

Yes Majin Gojira, people do crack under stress. That is, most ordinary people crack under extreme stress. But this is the CEO of one of the most powerful corporations in an intergalactic alliance (if Pandorapedia can be believed). You do not reach those echelons without having enormous tolerance for stressful situations. See how laid back he is relative to everyone else (even at the end). To be in charge of a venture like this, he would have to be really smart and a very steady hand.

For marcellx. I know you were going for humor with that resume quip but just to be clear. If you're recruiting a military man to be in charge of your security on a multibillion (or more likely multi trillion) dollar project taking place light years away from civilization, you're not just going to look at his resume, or his last psych-eval, or even just have lunch with the guy. You're going to bring him to a state of the art lab and subject him to a battery of stimulus response tests, isolation tests, endurance and stress tests, etc and that's just what I can come up with. Sure, a Col Psycho type might still slip through the cracks but its not very likely if you're doing your due diligence.
comment #16629 gibberingtroper 25th Oct 12
^ Is any of that not made up?
comment #16631 marcellX 25th Oct 12
In order to post comments, you need to Get Known
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