There is no other word. Though there was little surprise going into the theatre
that Avatar was going to be big-screen, big-budget eye candy--thanks to
commercial after endorsement commercial before it even released--none of the
advance glimpses did more than to give a teasing taste of what was in store.
But don't let that be a negative influence on your opinion of the film, it is not
all flash and glitter. Yes, this is an effects movie, yes they probably spent
more on digital artistry than they did on the on-screen talents, judging by the
after-movie credits, but there is little question that all involved delivered
no less than their very best, which was considerable.
a moment of extreme misfortune a scientist involved with the Avatar program
loses his life, leaving behind a twin brother, Jake Sully, as the only
person genetically compatible with the costly Avatar created for him.
Sully is a disabled marine with absolutely no scientific training. Though
feeling out of his depth, this opportunity gives him purpose his current life
lacks, a chance to be useful, to move again without the pitying gazes of those
around him or the aid of a wheelchair. To do something worth while. Sully has a
lot to learn about the world he is entering, both the world of science and the
world of Pandora and its indigenous inhabitants, the Na'vi, a sapient race
echoing the existence, and fate, of the Native Americans, the Aborigines and
African tribes of the third world.
has always wanted something worth fighthing for, he unexpectedly finds it as he
is ordered to immerse himself into the Na'vi culture, becoming one of them,
learning their ways and what drives them. What he learns is their values, which
sharply conflict with his other orders: convince the Na'vi to move away from
their home, which is located directly over a massive mineral deposit the
corporation is there to mine.
viewer will find the depiction of Pandora enchanting and vibrant in comparison
to the harsher reality of the corporate compound, it is all the more impactful
filtered through the awe and joy of Sully, feeling whole and mobile for the
first time in a very long time. This beauty and wonder contrasts all the more
drastically once the conflict begins and Sully's sympathies are skewed by close
contact and all he learns. It isn't just about a man going native, but of honor
and justice and taking a stand against what is wrong. The transformation of
this character from self-pity to selflessness is moving. Though the storyline
can be predicable at times, this is not a mark against the film, but rather a
following of the logical story path. Make no mistake, this is an epic that will
live long past it's box-office glory.
only thing perhaps to be marked on the negative side is that the antagonist in
this film is the military, again, a logical choice and realistically depicted
in regards to their role in the movie, but perhaps unsettling and conflicting
for the viewer, particularly those with a military background.
you can see this movie in the theatres, by all means you want to, but even on
the small screen, it should more than impress.
Score: 9 out of 10
Reprinted by permission of the author.
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