It’s been a long time coming but Avatar has surpassed all expectations with amazing CGI, heart-racing action scenes, a healthy dose of sentiment, and an intriguing story line.
Any film that is three hours long and directed by Titanic famed James Cameron is for me a worrying combination but I was pleasantly surprised by Avatar which is quite possible one of the best films of the year.
The CGI alone is just fantastic, in fact, it is easy to forget that it is not real. Cameron has managed to create a whole new world which is not completely set apart from reality. This distant world Pandora and its native humanoid Na’vi inhabitants seem to be based on the native inhabitants of Earth’s Amazon jungle where villages, the culture, and the natural environment was ripped apart and destroyed by greedy corporations. In this film, humans have already wasted Earth’s natural resources and now a corporation is hellbent on devouring precious mineral scattered throughout the rich woodland of Pandora at all costs.
The main star of the film is paraplegic marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington ) whose twin brother is killed. Sully takes his brother’s place on a special mission on Pandora where he learns that corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi ) intends to drive off the Na’vi. In exchange for spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Sully agrees to partake in a process which will allow his mind to meld with an Avatar, a body made out of Na’vi and his own DNA. Sully gathers intel for the cooperating military unit, spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang ), by infiltrating the Na’vi people, learning their culture, and their weaknesses. However, their world proves too attractive as Sully quickly gets ‘lost in the woods’ so to speak, falls in love with their way of life and in particular with the beautiful alien Neytiri (Zoe Saldana ). Sully’s pleas to re-evaluate takeover plans falls on deaf ears and he finds himself helping the Na’vi to take a stand and save Pandora.
I was completely engrossed throughout the movie. The world created by Cameron is beautiful, taking elements from Earth and multiplying them by a trillion. It is strange that film with so much CGI actually managed to reel an audience in so much that you really felt for the Na’vi, I even had a few tears at one point. This is a thrilling movie which will have you wanting more.