Director: James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi
Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic former marine, is given a mission to infiltrate the Na’vi, the natives of Pandora. The Na’vi are an obstacle to mining a precious mineral that is the key to solving the Earth’s energy crisis. Jake is saved by Neytiri, a female Na’vi, when he gets lost. She becomes his reluctant teacher and teaches him the Na’vi way of life. He falls in love with her and his Na’vi life and has to now choose sides. Will he be able to save Pandora is what the rest of the movie is about.
Some scenes stand out like the one where Jake mounts a horse like creature by plugging the nerve endings from his hair into it to form a circuit or the one where Jake keeps touching these giant mushroom like plants that shrink at his touch or the scene where he is told by Neytiri that he will know if the bird has chosen him if it tries to kill him or the scene where he is taken to the beautiful Tree of Souls.
The movie is lengthy at 2hrs and 40 minutes and it is predictable from the start. The Na’vi are tall and have a tail but it’s very apparent that the Native Americans are being alluded to by their looks or customs. Wes Studi, who stars in almost every other movie on Native Americans, plays the chief. The lines are extremely clichéd like “We’re not in Kansas anymore”. Phrases like ‘veteran benefits in this economy’, ‘shock and awe’, ‘using terror against terror’, ‘preemptive strike’ are sprinkled around to hint at the US war against Iraq. The movie has an environmental message too as it’s about saving a tree and being in harmony with the environment.
Sam Worthington is ok in the role of Jake Sully. Zoe Saldana, gives her spunky voice to Neytiri. Sigourney Weaver, the staple of the Alien movies plays the good scientist. Her death scene is funny as she conveniently tilts her head into a comfortable position when her mask is removed. Stephen Lang is good in the role of the crazy Colonel. Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi and Dileep Rao are decent.
The story lacks originality. It borrows from Pocahontas, Dances with the Wolves and a bunch of vfx movies. The only thing good about the movie are the visual effects and will probably win an Oscar for the visual effects. The movie talks about ‘shock and awe’ and that’s what the movie does. We are bombarded with visuals of beautiful flora and fauna. The climax fight is way too much to handle and one might end up with a headache.
James Cameron’s direction is mediocre at best. They have obviously spent a lot of money on the movie but wish they had spent some on the script too. If one is a visual effects fan and does not care much about the story then this movie is for them. This movie is basically for the kids and the kidults. Take out the vfx and the movie is just another B-movie. Avatar is body beautiful but it has got no soul.
Rating: 2 / 5 (Mediocre)Tags: Avatar Giovanni Ribisi James Cameron Member Reviews Michelle Rodriguez Reviews Sam Worthington Sigourney Weaver Stephen Lang Zoe Saldana