Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars
Like many of you, I had been anticipating the release of Avatar since it was announced. First of all because it is the most expensive movie ever made, secondly the movie was created using new 3D technology that blurs the rift between reality and imagination, and lastly the movie was produced and directed by James Cameron. For those of you that are not movie buffs, James Cameron is a well known director in Hollywood known mostly for his movies that take special effects to the limit. He is mostly famous for his previous blockbusters such as, Titanic, Terminator 1 and 2, and Aliens.
First things first, Avatar was created to be a showcase of the special effects technology that was created by James Cameron for Avatar. If you are planning to go watch this movie (which you most likely are) expect to be blown away by the realism of the alien-world known as Pandora, but don’t expect to be drawn away by the story.
The story of Avatar can be rounded down to a “Pocahantes” with aliens instead of natives. The movie’s plot rolls around the similar age old story of xenophobia and misunderstanding resulting in war. The film features a paraplegic ex-marine who is sent to Pandora to fill in for his dead brother in a mission that leads to him and puts him in a position where he must either follow orders or protect the aliens he has come to call his own.
Other than the fact that this movie is basically “Dances with Wolves” in space, it is a special effects spectacle like no other science fiction movie ever made. When you put on the 3D glasses on (if you are watching it in 3D, which you should be) you will become enveloped in a world filled with wonderful creatures, shiny and lethal machines, and extremely realistic aliens. Another plus in Avatar is that the cast of the film is composed of sci-fi veterans and big names, such as Sigourney Weaver from the Aliens series, Sam Worthington from Terminator Salvation, and Zoe Saldana from Star Trek. This cast was the first of its kind to act out complete scenes dressed up as their CGI characters using their own movements and their own likeness, by James Cameron’s face imaging technology and “Virtual cameras”. So all the aliens you see in the movie are actually modeled onto the actors themselves, you are not watching some puppets being voiced by actors but the actors themselves dressing up in a sort of “digital” costume.
Now if you look past the special effects and the slightly stale story line, Avatar is far from being a masterpiece, instead it is a first in a new wave of movies that will soon take over movie theaters and eventually our hearts. Movies like this will become a standard with in the coming years and we can expect to eventually reach a point where we will literally be watching holograms coming out of the screens.
My final Verdict: Avatar is no masterpiece, but it is something that has set a new standard and will be remembered for its special effects and not for the story.
Author: Daanish Maan