“Avatar,” a live action film with a new generation of special effects, takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery as he leads an epic battle to save a civilization. James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director of “Titanic,” first conceived the film years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not yet exist. Now, after four years of actual production work, “Avatar” delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.
The story’s hero is Jake Sully, a former Marine confined to a wheelchair. Bitter and disillusioned, he’s still a warrior at heart. All Jake ever wanted was something worth fighting for, and he finds it in the place he least expected: on a distant world. Jake has been recruited to join an expedition to the moon Pandora, which corporate interests are strip-mining for a mineral worth $20 billion per kilogram on Earth. To facilitate their work, the humans use a link system that projects a person’s consciousness into a hybrid of humans and Pandora’s indigenous humanoids, the Na’vi. This human-Na’vi hybrid – a fully living, breathing body that resembles the Na’vi but possesses the individual human’s thoughts, feelings and personality – is known as an “avatar.”
In his new avatar form, Jake can once again walk. His mission is to interact with and infiltrate the Na’vi with the hope of enlisting their help – or at least their acquiescence – in mining the ore. A beautiful Na’vi female, Neytiri, saves Jake’s life, albeit reluctantly, because even in his avatar body, Jake represents to her the human encroachment on the Na’vi’s unspoiled world.
As Jake’s relationship with Neytiri deepens, along with his respect for the Na’vi, he faces the ultimate test as he leads an epic conflict that will decide nothing less than the fate of an entire world.
I will leave a detailed description of the plot and various deeper themes of this film for others to write. I will say it deals with symbiosis and how we are connected as beings one with another and that we do owe our fellow beings and this planet a certain respect. Also, the visuals in this film are quite extraordinary. On the one hand, an alien’s eye looked very genuine and yet I knew it was computer generated. In my opinion, there is too much computer generated effects. I for one miss some of the grandeur of the old realistic and actual sets used in some films such as the first “Star Wars” trilogy for example.
This film is an eye stunner and it does keep an audience’s attention. On the other hand, you couldn’t miss too much of the beginning of the film or you would have a hard time catching up with the story. It is unfortunate that the language content hits a rating of five in our content listing below, which means it contains very strong language and a lot of it. Also, there is a lot of violence in the movie. Even if it is a science fiction/fantasy movie there is still a ton of violence on screen. These factors spoil what could have been a movie a family could go enjoy together. As it is, we cannot award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this picture.