Friday 8 October 2010

Avatar (2009) - James Cameron

I feel Avatar is getting a bit of a bad reputation at the moment for not quite living up to the hype, despite being the highest grossing film EVER.  Yes, more than that other epic Cameron film Titanic.  But whilst the narrative may not be the most original, the world of Pandora deserves your complete attention.

The story takes place on the forest planet of Pandora, inhabited by the (notoriously blue) Na'vi.  Enter Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic marine assigned a mission to infiltrate the Na'vi's home using a remote controlled 'Avatar' - part human, part native.  The humans are after the valuable 'unobtanium', and of course there just happens to be a massive supply beneath the Na'vi's home tree.  Soon after, Jake falls in love with Na'vi princess Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and is drawn into the world of the Na'vi.  The film sees him questioning his motives, deciding whether to side with humanity or his new found alien companions.

Yes, this does amount to a fairly standard sci-fi yarn, with clear overtones of the Iraq War (doesn't everything these days?).  The acting is solid, the script does justice to the story and the action sequences are of epic proportions, as you would expect from Cameron.  But the real star of the film is the world which Cameron has created.  I recently saw the film for a second time at the IMAX which really does make a difference, the huge screen drawing you in to the believable world.  Of course, this is also dependant on Cameron's spangly new 3D technology.  The sumptuous visuals, coupled with Horner's fantastic musical score, totally immerse the audience in an exotic and beautiful alien realm.  It's largely due to the success of Avatar that 3D is rapidly becoming the new industry standard.  Cameron has a lot to answer for...

Despite being over three hours long, the time flew by and after the credits finished, I could happily sit back and watch it all again.  And again.  Even Leona Lewis does a good job on the theme song.  Smurf me up Cameron, I wish I was blue...