- RatedPG /GenreAction, Adventure, Science Fiction
In the year 2154, a corporate expedition to the faraway planet of Pandora, backed by advanced military firepower, is mining a precious underground commodity that brings them into conflict with the native humanoids, the giant-sized and blue-skinned Na’vi.
When attempts to displace the Na’vi, who live atop a large deposit of the commodity, through negotiations fail, a paraplegic war veteran named Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is brought in to infiltrate the Na’vi’s ranks via a genetically-bred, mind-controlled look-alike known as an avatar.
Once accepted by the Na’vi, Sully questions his mission and whether he is on the right side.
Going into the movie, there were concerns that this would be a film where special effects could overshadow the storytelling. The amount of time James Cameron took to tinker with the film --he had originally planned it for a summer 2008 release -- was a tad disconcerting.
The fears were, however, ultimately unfounded. The film is compelling from the very start, even if 3D glasses require an initial period of somewhat uncomfortable adjustment by the eyes.
The alien world of Pandora and its amazing inhabitants, from the Na’vi to the multitude of exotic wildlife, are vividly portrayed. Like this reporter, audiences are likely to forget just how much of this was created on a computer and get immersed into the rich story and the stunning visuals.
The love story between the central characters is also well developed and feels authentic, while the sweeping technology and action sequences are mind-bogglingly brilliant. Viewers are likely to experience a few lurches in their stomachs during the realistic high-altitude scenes.
One figured that spending more than two and a half hours watching a 3D movie was probably going to put a strain on the eyes, and this proved to be true.
Perhaps sitting on the side of the cinema, instead of a certain distance from the screen and in a more central area, did not provide an optimal 3D-viewing experience. If at all possible, try to view the 3D version of this film from the back half of the cinema.
James Cameron has done it again. After much hype, wait and reports of enormous production budgets -- rumours estimate costs at anywhere from US$200 million to $500 million -- akin to Titanic, he has delivered another masterpiece.
This is arguably one of the best films of the year and it is almost certain to snag top awards in the technical categories, if not for Best Picture. (It’s already been nominated for Best Drama and Best Director at the 17 January, 2010, Golden Globe Awards.)
If nothing else, this will be one of the first live-action/CGI films where the computer imagery dominates, yet storytelling is enhanced, not hampered. An absolute, must-see movie.