Movie review: Avatar

December 24, 2009



James Cameron’s newest release “Avatar” is certainly a film that will be remembered for years to come. Having grossed $77 million in its first weekend, it is certain that one thing is true — Cameron’s still got it.

Like JRR Tolken before him, Cameron had to wait for technology to catch up to his brilliant mind. Cameron had “Avatar” in mind for years before current movie magic was advanced enough to put his creation on the screen.

“Avatar” may never reach Titanic’s level of repeat business but it will definitely put Cameron back on the map. But it is all relative. Behind all of the amazing CGI is a heartfelt love story. One that is completely believable even if all of the character interaction takes place in an imaginary world.

The story is set in 2154, a time when America has once again invaded another world, on the completely different planet of Pandora.

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), is a disabled former Marine who after his twin brother’s death takes the Avatar assigned to him, Avatars are part of a scientific program to help promote peace between America and the natives. Avatars, are remotely controlled bodies that are mixes of human DNA with that of the natives, the Na’vi.  Jake is taken in by the natives because of a sign given by Ewya the deity of the Na’vi. He is taught the customs of the natives and falls in love with the chief’s daughter, in a fashion very reminiscent of Pocahontas. Suddenly Jake is no longer working for America, he is part of “The People”.

The CGI in the battle scenes is amazing enough alone. But there is more to this movie than CGI and a cute love story. It is a modern day adaption of the way the English took America out from under the Native Americans. It makes your heart dip when you watch the home of the Na’vi be destroyed. And when you see missiles and machine guns against bows and arrows you cringe to imagine how this same thing has happened so many times whenever a more powerful enemy takes over a smaller country. It’s the big guy bearing down on the defenseless tribe.

This movie is definitely one to see multiple times. And one you must see in 3D. The magic draws you in and you forget that Pandora and the Na’vi are purely imaginary. You cheer for the Na’vi when they get the upper hand and sit on the edge of your seat when suddenly everything changes. This story is one that has a roller coaster effect. Granted the script may not be the best but it has it’s good moments. A bit of wit here or a romantic comment there, enough to help you believe what you are seeing. And you don’t have to try too hard to believe this story.

Overall Cameron has done it again and after nearly a dozen years after the industry–changing “Titanic” our wait was well worth it. One can only wonder where Cameron will take us next. I, for one, can’t wait.

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your review failed to notice the very strong environmental theme ! i think the theme of the movie was brilliant because it reflects what is happening here on earth – we are destroying the natural world that our species relies on and we need to change our ways and live in harmony with the earth or the human race will suffer due to lack of resources and lack of healthy ecosystems to keep the planet healthy for human life. very strong environmental theme The cgi effects in 3d are also fantastic!