banner image

:: Avatar

When it comes to ‘Avatar’ the famous saying ‘you get what you paid for’ certainly comes into play. If the rumours are true and director James Cameron spent $450 million on the film then it was certainly worth it. There is no doubt about it, Cameron has created a visual masterpiece. Every scene looks like it should be hanging in one of the world’s leading art galleries. And while Cameron’s gamble on a cast that has been harshly described as a cast of ‘nobodies and has-beens’ pays off, it is a pity that he didn’t spend more time working on the script, because the storyline is completely see-through and seasoned film-lovers will know where the film is heading within ten minutes.

‘Avatar’ tells the story of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) who arrives on the Planet Pandora where he is to take part in an ‘avatar’ program run by scientist, Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver). But while Grace plans to infiltrate the native people of Pandora in a bid to study them the military have an entirely different agenda. Mining boss, Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi) is desperate to have the people moved in a bid to gain accsess to a rare mineral and it seems that Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) will use whatever fire power he needs to achieve this. Meanwhile Jake is torn between his loyalties between Grace, The Colonel and one of the natives, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).

For the most part ‘Avatar’ is a true spectacle. You can’t help at marvel at how the film looks. Pandora literally comes to life right in front of you and the beauty of the film just showcases James Cameron’s true genius. But while the film looks amazing you can’t help but feel that the story is incredibly weak. The general story contained in the film has been told a million times before and it is quite likely that most seasoned film lovers will pick where the story is going (and even how it will end) just minutes into the film.

The other thing that makes ‘Avatar’ a standout is that the chances Cameron took when casting the film pays off amazingly. Cameron fought tooth and nail to get Sam Worthington and it was certainly worth it. Worthington absolutely shines and after a stand-out performance in ‘Terminator Salvation’ (where he out performed Christian Bale) this should surely show that he has made it in Hollywood. He is also backed up by a wonderful performance by Zoe Saldana, while it is great to see Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez getting some great roles to once again show their skills. And despite the fact that they have stereotypical roles, Giovanni Ribisi and Stephen Lang also put in good performances.

The key to ‘Avatar’ is to just sit back and enjoy the view without doing too much thinking about the plot or characters. ‘Avatar’ is enjoyable watch and James Cameron once again shows why he is one of Hollywood’s top directors… just don’t expect the film to have that much substance or depth.

*