Director: – James Cameron
Avatar, is a 2009 sci-fi adventure flick written and directed by the King of The World himself, Mr James Cameron. After an original treatment written back over 15 years ago, and at a time where Cameron believed film technology at the time would not be sufficient enough, he put it on the back-burner until a later time where further advancements had been made. It was finally produced and released in IMAX 3D around theaters in the winter of 2009 to an overwhelming array of acclaim. The highest opening weekend ever, worldwide.
Not bad at all.
A staggering $2,782,206,970 dollars in revenue from a near-mere $237 million dollar budget. No doubt at all, this was Jim’s gold standard. With widespread acclaim from movie-goers, and a re-release that has already made $9 million dollars at the box office – Who’s to say that this film isn’t anything but spectacular?
Avatar is by no stretch a ‘bad’ film. It’s very much the opposite – Some stunning visuals (computers), nice looking alien characters (computers) and some breathtaking action sequences (computers). Ok, you see where I’m heading now… In seriousness, yeah it looks absolutely superb. Every last detail rendered has been carefully fine-tuned for maximised performance – Mr Cameron certainly had a dedicated team working on this puppy.
So, unless you’ve been under a rock the last two years – Essentially, Avatar tells the story of a Government military-run mining colony on a moon called ‘Pandora’, which is populated by the Na’avi, a native alien species. Main protagonist, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), is a young paraplegic (I forget how.. If we was given exposition I missed it) chosen in lieu of his deceased brother by the military and finding house and home with the Na’avi after being tasked by ‘Military General stereotype’, portrayed by Stephen Lang, to infiltrate a Na’avi camp to learn more about them in preparation for a full-scale attack. The invasion is all in the name of retrieving a powerful element, known as ‘unobtanium’ – A precious mineral.
There’s not a lack of entertainment here with Avatar. It’s stylish, pretty focussed on what it sets out to achieve and delivers the all-too familiar ‘Cameron conclusion’. It does however do its best to bind together two kinds of movies together… You do start to question subconsciously if you’re watching a sci-fi action movie or a Disney film. All the same, the Computer-Generated landscape visuals are very realistic in their several bit-appearances (for obvious filler) in the film. But it’s the Pandora forests/plant life animations that are the letdown. Too ‘fantastical’ and… magical(?). It totally sets itself apart from most of the other sequences in the film, and I felt like it was comfortable being an ambiguously stylised cartoon, rather than creating a smart, more thoughtful film with substance. The action/sci-fi scenes are very cool and worthy of its futuristic setting – most notably Sigourney Weaver’s scenes in the research labs. But it is very much tarnished by some of the ominous CG sequences…Something which I personally despise in any film or television show.
I could go on about how much Avatar has ripped off ‘Dances With Wolves’ and ‘Pocahontas’ til I’m blue in the face (heh heh). But to be brutally honest, even if I hadn’t had seen those films previously – the story is still very basic, very predictable and very, very boring. The characteristics of the Na’avi are pretty shocking, border-line racist, with a hint of irony thrown in aswell. It’s an obvious political-bashing from James Cameron and maybe it would’ve found some resonance with me ten years ago – But life goes on. I guess all we can do now is wait for the expected sequels to reign our 2014 winter….