When a friend told me about AVATAR I told him I heard about it, but wasn’t planning on seeing it premiere day. Fortune however wanted me to see this movie and when I got off from work a little bit earlier, I decided to go and watch it. New movies are best seen on their first day right?
AVATAR (in 3D!) James Cameron latest work is currently being praised into the Heavens and I could not understand that. Yes he brought us some great movies like TITANIC and TERMINATOR. But when the name Avatar comes to my mind, I always think of the bloke below.
The movie has generated a lot of buzz and the hype is immense. I however only saw 1 or 2 trailers and wasn’t impressed. When I finally went to see it, only 10% of the theater was filled with people. “How could this movie be so hyped?”, well all I could do was to put on those ugly 3D Glasses, sit back and enjoy the ride.
After almost 3 hours – yes this movie is very, very long – I got out with more headache than when I went in. The ride you get when watching AVATAR in 3D is detailed, fast and really intense. But let us talk story first.
AVATAR tells the story of Jake Sully, played by the rather unknown actor – for me at least – Sam Worthington. Jake is a marine who got injured in combat and now cannot walk. His twin brother however died doing research on Pandora. So Jake gets an offer to fill the void his brother left.
The research focuses on the various life forms on Pandora and on making contact with the locals called the Na`Vi. This research is being led by none other than Sigourney Weaver, playing Dr. Grace Augustine.
The underlying reason behind the research however, is to gather a very rare and expensive mineral. Jake Sully gets in contact with the Na`Vi and one of them, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) gets the assignment to train him. Of course they fall in love and when push comes to shove, Jake has to decide to either fight for the greedy military corporation or for the Na`Vi. I do not have to tell you how things will end, because every sane human being will know how it ends.
Somehow I cannot understand why this specific story took so long for James Cameron to realize. Sure the effects are very nice, but the story itself is really thin and unoriginal. Heck I think any 6 year old could have come up with it. But the story should not be the reason to go and watch this at your local cinema. What makes this $500 million dollar movie “worthwhile” are the effects in 3D. Imagine being a bird or some other small creature, constantly following the various characters in the movie, seeing rain fall or bushes passing you by. The vast amount of details being put into the animated parts is what sets this movie apart from others. You sometimes have to realize that everything you see is computer generated. None of it is real, but it is presented to you as if it is. Of course the great music in the background helps as well, but in my honest opinion this is the only true reason to go watch it on the big screen.
The acting of the “real” characters is average, the story is cliché as hell, but when you are watching the movie you tend to forget all these flaws. I got to hand that to James, he did a great job keeping the audience focused, due to its sheer beauty.
When finally the ending credits appeared I realized why the movie cost this much. They actually showed the credits both horizontally and vertically, else you would be sitting another hour just watching all the names of the people, who worked on it. But where all these people required for this movie? Was the entire $500 million well spent? Or was this movie created just to break records? These last questions I cannot answer. Costs aside though, James Cameron brought us an impressive graphical feast and only this hype has been truly realized. Everyone who has seen this movie will say that AVATAR currently holds the record for best visual effects and perhaps best animated movie. And the headache? Well it was worth the ride…