Avatar review

James Cameron directs Avatar, the sci-fi epic action adventure film set in the future on the alien moon of Pandora populated by the Na’avi, set to be explored and mined for its resources by a humans, a paraplegic soldier is set the task of befriending the Na’avi for a certain mission but becomes conflicted. The film stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez.

Avatar is a mostly impressive film, a box office juggernaut and still the highest grossing film of all time, it’s also a benchmark for effective use of 3D in a film and a great example of 3D done right and while it’s a film with some great visuals and some brilliant motion capture it’s far from the masterpiece that a lot of people seemed to think it was right after it came out. The simplicity of the story is part of what makes Avatar a fun, engaging watch with the theme of going with your heart or your head, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) as a marine is a man who gets conflicted with his main mission a a human on an alien planet but empathises with the Na’avi and comes to learn their ways.

What should you do in a situation like that? Follow orders or fight what you think is right? That question is front and centre in the story, while it underpins everything that goes on, Jakes adventures as a Na’avi in the Avatar equipment are also a big part of the story and seeing him make full use of his alien body made for an entertaining plot arc. The world of Pandora looks lush, vibrant and alive, while distinctly alien with its floating mountains and alien creatures, the creatures also look quite different and alien and though Avatar isn’t a completely unique film, the world created is a vivid, vibrant looking world.

And even with the humans and their mechanical technology, the mechs, helicopter and weaponry is interestingly designed, the plot has some fun, zany set pieces and there’s a feeling of adventure and discovery about the plot as Jake goes about befriending the Na’avi, learning about Pandora, its wildlife and Na’avi culture. And in a film that you may feel can’t be judged performance wise, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana still emote and bring something to their characters. Once again Cameron should be praised for using such high quality motion capture and HD filming to bring believable performances to the Na’avi, while ironically the human characters don’t quite get to do that much and are mostly one dimensional.

Watching the film you probably get the feeling of having seen the story before and while there is that sense of familiarity to it, I think Avatar does deserve credit for coupling a simple story with some benchmark technology and visuals that haven’t quite been beaten in terms of using 3D to date. The film has an engrossing and engaging plot that may not be the most re-watchable and in retrospect maybe doesn’t hold up as well but it still is memorable for a few reasons and is commendable for its ambition.

7/10

. Has some awesome visuals, at the time ground breaking special effects and 3D

. Creative alien and creature design

. Somewhat recycled story but it does enough to get your interest

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