It is, without a doubt, the movie of the year. Looking past all the hype of how much it cost, the audience pays the same ticket price as anything else tossed at us by Hollywood. For once, we've received far more than our money's worth. I believe we all have moments in the past where we treasure our first viewing of a film, our joy of discovering a turning point in storytelling on the screen. Your first viewing of Avatar will live with you for a long time, as one of those unique and memorable events of entertainment.
Avatar starts with an eye opening, literally Jake Sully's eye opening from a deep space sleep as a great long space ship arrives at Pandora, a planet rich with life and natural minerals waiting for exploitation by humanities need for more of whatever. Handicapped by a spine injury which cannot be fixed under his soldier's medical plan, Sully has joined the expedition as a replacement for his dead twin brother, who was trained to seduce the native Na'vi tribe into relocating their village through the use of an "avatar" body, built tall, slender and blue like the Na'vi but controlled by a human mind in a pod capsule with a computerized wireless link.
At the same time, we also learn about the great mining corporation who needs a boost to their next earnings statement by exploiting the rich ore deposit and thus, are rushing to start open pit mining where the Na'vi hometree sits. This tree is enormous and spiritually bonded with the tribe so you know, we have an explosive conflict building between the immovable object and the irresistible forces commanded by a tough badass nature-is-inmy-way Colonel Quaritch. He's got the claw scars on his face to prove just how dangerous an opponent the Pandora wildlife can be. He also has a crew-cut, eliminating any chance for a hair-to-hair bond between him and the beasts of Pandora.
The sci-fi genre has always been a world of wonder and imagination. We enjoy traveling to exotic worlds and unknown galaxies, populated with aliens of all sizes and colors. It is our own world reflected through the imagination of others and when done well, it is a glorious leap through hyper-space which audiences reward handsomely.
Sci-fi fans also love technology, so the 3D presentation, the motion-capture simulation of the actors and the vivid re-imagining of the undersea world of earth as the forest of Pandora are all lures to catch the avid fans of this genre. There is also a love story, another Cameron trademark, for those who have to attend because their spouse insisted. The PG-13 rating means this film will do great business, which it deserves. The bar is now set higher again, which will thrill all sci-fi fans for the future of film.
The Overall Quality
Avatar's quality features are all on the screen for everyone to see. The acting, imagery and 3D effects all merge together into a realistic and credible experience of an alternative reality. I found I forgot about the 3D and the CGI models and all the other movie magic behind the scenes. Avatar is truly immersive for audiences. You are there, in the trees, flying over the forest, facing the gunships with your puny bows and arrows and bonding tendril to tendril with the beasts. Pandora is real, as are the characters and their conflicts.