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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Review: Avatar (2D) (12A) ★★★★
A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home

I went into Avatar hearing all the hype about how this is this movie that will change film making forever, how 3D will now finally come home to roost and how James Cameron would further cement his status as 'KING OF THE WORLD'. I'm pleased to say, as Meatloaf once said, two outta three aint bad.

Avatar will undoubtedly change the way movies are made with its jaw dropping effects and CGI interactivity and James Cameron further proves to us that when it comes to film making nobody makes a movie quite like him, but 3D changing the world .... fraid not. This was the movie which was to make us stand up and embrace 3D and demand it from every film here on in, but this has not happened. It was just another 3D movie, a gimmick that firmly belongs in children's films and where the story and characters won through because after all, thats what makes people sit through a two and a half hour film (would you sit through Batman And Robin if it was in 3D?).

The story itself is one that has been retold many times, two sets of cultures, one has something the other wants and exploits it to their own means, but Cameron draws you in with some really quite amazing characters and of course the effects. Sam Worthington immerses himself in the role, switching between feeling sorry for himself paraplegic Human and confident cock-sure able bodied Na'vi effortlessly. Zoe Saldana is a natural in her role and Giovanni Ribisi likewise as the sleazy 'burke-esque' corporate drone. But its Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang who own this movie, Weaver as the 'save the planet' heroine and Lang as the 'blow it all to bits' bad guy both chewing up their roles and visibly loving every minute. All of this is down to Cameron allowing these actors/actresses to be part of this amazing spectacle.

Although all the above seems to be right on the money, for all its energy and visuals the film does fall down in areas. For me there were far too many scenes that seemed to be there just for the sake of the 3D filming - oh look they're falling .... again. Oh no another animal jumping toward the screen .... again. This made the movie seem a little 'pre-packaged' and distanced me from being involved.

Cameron is obviously in his element here and is a master craftsman at the top of his game. The film succeeds on for many reasons and importantly for this reviewer they are all the right ones.

Go easy on me, this is my first review and will get better as I go (if anyone is actually reading this site!!)


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