Monday, 29 November 2010

Avatar Review


Avatar is directed by James Cameron and was released in 2009 in 3D. Avatar is Camerons big screen comeback from long years of slumber. The film follows paraplegic marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who decides to take the place of his deceased brother in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. He is the only one capable of replacing his brother because of their close related genes (being twin brothers), as he has to take control of his brothers "avatar" used to explore Pandora. During the mission he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's (Giovanni Ribisi) intentions of driving off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang), while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand - and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.

""Avatar" is the biggest accomplishment is special effects up to date."

Avatar is from a visual standpoint simply flawless and definately a leap forward in CGI output. The fantastical world of Pandora is simply what we would refer to as Paradise or Eden, it is without a doubt the best fantasy world created on film. Being set in 2154, it allows Cameron to go "all out" with mindboggling ideas and concepts. Avatar is said to have been in the working since 1994, but was held back because Cameron didnt see the technology at the time being able to fulfill his own vision of the film. Avatar goes a step further then the majority of films in terms of visuals and concept work, everything is made from the ground up from the creatures to environments to even the language (which was in development from 2005). A mass, unrivaled effort has been put into creating this world of pandora; it is not just a CGI Pandora, but a world you feel yourself being involved with especially if you watch in 3D. Avatar has done such a great job at portraying this world as being so "heavenly" that it has left a lot of people depressed at the fact that after the screening, they find themselves back in the real world which is dull and grey. Although this isn't really a great thing when you think about it, it is really at the same time, because this shows how awesome Avatar really is!

The character animation is also done superbly, with each avatar looking just like their human resemblants. All of the Na’Vi were based on real actors portraying them (and voicing them). Sam Worthington’s avatar looks like Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana’s looks like Zoe etc. As much effort it took to make Pandora so awesome, probably twice as much was put into making the Na’Vi look alive. Even though the avatar is an 8ft blue creature, it is still easy to forget that they are not real. Their interaction with eachother and humans, and the portrayal of their emotions and feeling are right on point.

"But, as much as technology aids and defines Avatar, it’s also a love letter to humanity and the glory of mother nature."

Avatar is a story based around man against machine and what it means to be human. It employs questions like "what it means to be human", "how does it feel to betray your own race" etc, but Cameron also answers these questions in his deliverance of the story. He shows his belief that Na'Vi are more human and connected to the world. The storyline and plot is very similar with "Pocahontas" in its delivery but has been altered to this scenario. Avatar is however said to be one of Cameron's weaker films concerning story, but most viewers are so entranced by Pandora and its visuals that this aspect gets covered by a magical veil. The story is the most basic good vs. evil plot and it lacks certain depth, but in some cases simplicity can be a good thing, Avatar has pulled this off.

Avatar is not the best film ever, but it’s visually the most impressive. It’s also the most expensive (if marketing expenses are included). Avatar will probably go down in history as the most visually fulfilling film of its time.


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