Avatar Review A-
Avatar is a film thatís been billed as a game changer for the film industry. Director James Cameron has touted this as the movie that will change the face of film making. Of course, my main reason for seeing this film is because itís a James Cameron film. Iíve waited 18 years for a movie like this. Sure, True Lies and Titanic were a lot of fun. But this groundbreaking science fiction, action adventure movie is what I know James Cameron for and the man does not disappoint!
For those that have been living under a rock for the last six months, Avatar is about a human expedition to the planet Pandora. The scientists in the expedition want to study the plant life on Pandora and make peaceful contact with the natives known as the Naívi. Using technology to transplant their mind into a Naívi body, they are able to do so. Of course, the scientists are accompanied by soldiers who follow the orders of yet another evil company, who are more interested in the deposits of unobtainium (yes, thatís really what itís called) found in the ground below the Naívi settlements.
The plot is very straightforward and similar to Dances with Wolves or Burroughís Princess of Mars. But despite the predictability of the plot, the story is fairly well told, and lets face it, it means you get to focus on the look of the movie. And what a look it has! With WETA and the Stan Winston Studio, two of the greatest special effects companies in the world, teaming up for this movie you know the effects are gonna be out of this world.
While the blue, cat-like features of the Naívi didnít bode too well for fans, it actually comes across on screen very well. The plant life on Pandora is highly detailed, and extremely diverse. Itís also very reminiscent of the kind of bioluminescent animals you might see on a deep sea reef- no doubt inspiration Cameron took from all his deep sea photography. In addition to the plant life, the military stuff is also really worth checking out. Some are reminiscent of previous movies, for instance the dropship looks a lot like the one from Aliens, and then thereís the AMP suit which looks very similar to the powerloader.
This is an eco movie at heart, with big corporations being the bad guys. But just as you start to think that James Cameron has gone all tree-huggy, he pulls out the big guns, literally. And boy does James Cameron know how to do an action sequence! Itís never overly long, and it moves the plot forward. Is there gratuitous action in this movie? Of course, itís a James Cameron movie! But itís always done well.
Avatar is a game-changer for movie making. Only time will tell what studios will do with this kind of technology. In the meantime, I suggest you head down to the nearest IMAX, and see it in 3D. Itís really cool!
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