Film Review: Avatar

8.7 of 10
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver

I wanted to watch The Road, yesterday, a movie based on my favorite book of the same title. Unfortunately, it's not available on any theaters near me. So I decided to go with Avatar, instead. At first, I thought the movie was based on the cartoon series. That's why -for the first 30 minutes- I was so confused when I saw spaceships and mechs, instead of martial artists with elemental powers. But as soon as I accepted the fact that it was a different movie, a majestic film emerged.

The story in Avatar revolves around Pandora, an earth-like moon that orbits a gas-giant planet in another star system. Pandora holds massive amounts of an element called unobtainium -a valuable resource that Earth desperately needs- in which a mining corporation wishes to exploit. Unfortunately, an indiginous giant-sized cat/monkey-like species that inhabits Pandora, whom are called the Na'vi, becomes an obstacle to the humans. So the corporation hires Marines, equipped with gunships and mechanized battle suits, to plow through the obstacles.

Of course, being wary of the press, the corporation also tries diplomacy. That's where the Avatar Program comes in. The program uses "test-tube" created Na'vi avatars that can be controlled by humans through a mind link. When mind linked, humans uses their Na'vi avatars to explore and study Pandora -because its atmosphere is unbreathable by humans- and also to communicate with the Na'vi, learning their culture and hoping to build diplomatic ties with them.

The visuals here are also mesmerizing. At first look, the designs are pretty much makes it a James Cameron movie as it draws inspiration from his previous films. The Scorpion gunship reminds me a lot of the laser gunship from Terminator. And the neon luminous creatures and plants that lights up Pandora at night has Abyss written all over it. The critters that inhabit Pandora -especially the rhino-like creature with its horn that looked like a hammer- are also very well thought out.

I really enjoyed watching Avatar, overall. The visuals and the story are both epic, and it really defined holiday entertainment the way Lord of the Rings did for me a few years ago. But besides its entertainment value, Avatar also carries a huge ball of messages. Anti-war, anti-racism, pro-green kind of messages. It even has the "corporations are evil" message -even though they sell Avatar toys at Wal-Mart- and the "whoever has the biggest bird gets the girl" message. So if you like movies, go watch Avatar. This film shouldn't be missed.

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The Scud said...

one of my favorite films of the year! did you see it in 2d?

merry christmas!

Skron said...

Yeah, I only saw the 2D version. But it was IMAX so it was awesome.