Avatar review (spoiler free)

Now bear in mind that when I went to see this movie I knew nothing about it.  I kept away from all the hype, no mean feat I can tell you and only began to gather interest in it after seeing a trailer for the first time when i went to see 2012 the other week.  So I entered this with neutral expectations.

This film was long, cliched, predictable in a lot of places and overdoes an already overdone political and enviromental message .

That being said….I friggin’ loved this movie, I can’t wait to see it in the IMAX and then I’m gonna get whatever inevitable special edition is going to be coming our way on Blu-ray.

Let me get the negative out of the way.  If you’ve seen Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, then you know the story of this movie, just throw in some Last of the Mohicans and Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee and you’ve got it down.

Next, keep in mind that this is the guy that centered the epic Titanic around a love story and know that he’s done that again.

Now in my mind those negatives are far from negative and I applaud them all.

Yes I know we’ve all had a bellyful of enviromental and politcal brow beating but that doesn’t make the message any less relevant or important.  The problem hasn’t gone away so why should the message. The love story I had no problems with either – is it or the lack of it not the central tennant of everyday existence and believe me it was nowhere near as horrible as the love story (Oh it even feels wrong to call it that) in the new Star Wars movies. and if I’m going to be honset I had a lump in ,my throat and a tear in my eye more than once.

If your looking for all out action in this movie, then think again.  This is quite clearly a film with 2 clearly divided parts.  The first is an exploration of an alien culture and people and some may find it a bit slow but I loved it because this is the reason I got into science fiction in the first place, to imagine worlds and peoples  so different to my own.  And one thing this film does amazingly well is to realise such a world.  You can tell there has abeen a lot of work gone into this.  All the flora and fauna is derivative of something that already exists, and you know given Cameron’s penchant for underwater exploration that a lot of it is ocean based.  It is a truly beautiful world and I spent much of my time open mouthed wishing I could visit.  On the same theme the language that was developed for the Na’vi people  had a number of influences in  and was incredible to listen to.

However once the action kicks of…Oh wow it kicks of in style.  The action is fantastic edge of your seat stuff and you have no idea who is going to make it to the end.

The animation was incredible and the new capture technique that Cameron uses to render the emotions of the actors onto their cgi characters pays of in spades as I don’t think I have ever felt as much empathy for a cgi character in my life. Zoe Saldana acted her socks of and you can see it  – hell you can feel it quite clearly.

The integration between real life characters and the cgi characters is seamless and it becomes easy to forget that a lot of the background and characters are simply not there in real life.  Indeed I stopped thinking of the Na’vi as cgi 10ft tall blue creatures with tales and started thinking of them as people very quickly.  Is this a paradigm shift in terms of cgi technology, not sure about that, it just seems to be the next step in animation evolution but damn, what a step it is.

So is it worth the hype? Wrong question.

Is this an immersive, fun, moving cinema experience? Yes, yes it is and really isn’t that the point.

GS Reporter: Monts

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2 comments

  1. Jamie Fitzgerald /

    Well done review Monts. I can’t wait to see this when it comes out here in the states next week.

  2. Dave Williams /

    You had me at Ferngully.

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