Twentieth Century Fox

Mark Haddon

""Avatar" is not simply a sensational entertainment, although it is that. It's a technical breakthrough. It has a flat-out Green and anti-war message. It is predestined to launch a cult."

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times



Avatar was a massively hyped-up film that had been advertised for months prior to it's December release. I avoided as much of this pre-release promotion as possible at the risk of forming any preconceptions. Despite this, I sill I went in to the cinema with a little apprehension, for fear I would be disappointed. I wasn't.

In simple terms, the film follows a group of humans on Pandora, a moon of a distant planet and the source of a very valuable ore that the humans are mining. The main character in the story, Jake Sully, is sent to Pandora from Earth to try and help build relationships with Pandora's indiginous population, the Na'vi.  Since humans cannot breath Pandora's air, he does this through use of an avatar which looks exactly like a Na'vi male.

Very early in to the film we learn that the Na'vi tribe we meet in the film happen to dwell right on top of massive source of this valuable ore.  It was easy to predict that, of course, the Americans wanted it but would prefer the Na'vi to just leave their home peacefully and without question.  Of course, there was only a limited time frame for the avatar team to negotiate with them before a more 'military' approach was taken.  At this point you could argue there were many similarities with American actions towards the Middle East over recent years, but I shan't go in to a political debate!

The 'cast' of the film was broad but plenty of time was allocated to getting to know the key players well - Jake Sully from the human base and female Na'vi warrior Neytiri being the most obvious.  Time is also well spent on following Jake's intigration within the Na'vi and the growth of his relationship with Neytiri. To me, there was a definite theme of "going back to basics" and "appreciate the things around you" coming from this part of the film.

The special effects are stunning and I strongly recommend this film is seen in 3D. The 3D technology has come along leaps and bounds over the years and really comes in to it's own for this film. The fast moving images in wonderful detail are so clear, but is not at all difficult to watch like 3D of years ago. In fact, the 3D really adds to the experience by making the film really involved. You feel as though you are right there on Pandora!

A truely wonderful film - I enjoyed every minute of it. I will most definitely be buying the Blue Ray when it is released and may even try and fit in another cinema viewing. In my opinion the best film of 2009 and a must-see!



Reviewed on 31/12/2009 by Angela


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Referenced review by Roger Ebert.


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