Avatar Review   December 19th, 2009

Avatar was a fun movie. Plot wise there were lots of familiar and predictable tropes so there weren’t many surprises. It got heavy handed with the themes of the evil imperialists against the magic natives at several times though. There were some sympathetic characters and the interplay between the scientists and the marines butting heads was entertaining.

The biggest fault of the movie was it didn’t fully set up the reason for strip-mining the planet. I believe one of the trailers mentioned something about saving Earth, but that wasn’t in the film, save for a throw-away line near the end about a dying world. Otherwise it was just that the fantastic mineral unobtanium (which was a perfect name for this film) was worth a lot of money and it was all for a greedy corporation. Aside from that, the film did have some characters you could care about and there was some good drama to it. Plus there was plenty of epic action, so while it’s not going to win any Oscars it was definitely engaging and fully entertaining.

The movie’s strengths of course were its visuals, which is to be expected. It was a huge spectacle of modern CGI wizardry, but it also had soul to it. The world they created was in equal turns breathtakingly beautiful, definitely alien and absolutely dangerous. The designs of the flora and fauna were amazing and showed a lot of care went into their design. Every scene immersed you in this wonderful alien landscape and it was a beautiful ride. The first night scenes with a forest aglow with bioluminsecence was very emotionally evocative.

Then of course there are the exotic Na’vi. They were beautiful to look at and there were several shots of fan service appreciating their alien beauty. Beyond that though, the character design was well thought out and intriguing. The size difference between the humans and 8-foot giants was an interesting twist and their slender and elongated forms played well into the design of the lower-gravity world.

Story wise Avatar is much better than Ferngully but not as good as Dances With Wolves, both films it shares plot themes with.

For ratings,
Story: 3/5 stars
Visuals: 5/5 stars
Overall 4/5 stars

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2 Responses

December 19th, 2009 at 7:50 pm
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