Haven’t seen Avatar yet. What are you waiting for? This review?
Avatar, directed by James Cameron, is a visual stimulation, not a mental one. The media hype surrounding Avatar suggests it could be the greatest film of all time, but remember it’s just hype. Avatar, unfortunately, is not the complete movie experience package.
Avatar takes place on the planet of Pandora, sometime in the future. Humans have destroyed Mother Earth and Pandora’s environment could provide Earth with an extremely valuable resource. The resource is found underground the habitat the natives live. The large mean corporation being asked to harvest this resource must displace the natives and destroy the Natives’ home in order to reach the resource. A group of scientists, led by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigorney Weaver) has been asked to find a diplomatic way to move the natives using Avatar bodies controlled by humans in the laboratory. The protagonist, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is a former Marine who no longer has the use of his legs. He is asked by Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephan Lang) to infiltrate the native community and provide the military and the corporation with information in exchange for an operation which will give him the use of his legs. Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), daughter of the native tribe’s chief, teaches Jake about the culture and their nature loving way of life. Jake is then forced to choose between following orders or side with the natives.
While the 3D experience of Avatar is unparalleled by any 3D film preceding it, the plot is painfully predictable, taking away from its experience. Even worse than the predictability, is the heavy-handed jamming of the film’s themes of respecting outside cultures and nature down the audience’s throat. We get it Cameron, recycle and don’t waste resources. Go Green! The film also seems like a wishful rewrite of Native American history, reminding audiences of the how cruel the white man can be. This is highlighted over and over again through the cheesy dialogue and cast of characters.
Because of this predictable and lackluster plot, Avatar cannot and should not be labeled the best film ever made (although those counting box office profits may think that is a mark of greatness). Labels like that are to be reserved for films that are entertaining and tell a great story. Unfortunately, Avatar lacks the last and most important criterion. Still Avatar is a must see film, in 3D; it’s worth the extra three bucks for the ticket. Avatar will likely go down in film history, not for its brilliant fresh story or outstanding performances, but for the revolutionary visual experience that is what film is all about.