Cameron brings magic back to the movies in Avatar, an exhilarating sci-fi special effects showcase. Set in the year 2154, the story follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a wheelchair bound war veteran who enters the avatar program for the purposes of a mining mission on the planet Pandora.
To better negotiate with the native Na'vi people, the large, blue, cat-like creatures that inhabit and protect their land, Jake assumes the physical form of this alien species through futuristic “consciousness linking” technologies. What begins as a diplomacy mission quickly becomes a full-fledged war, and Jake finds himself in a fight to protect the native Na'vi way of life from human corruption, greed, and brutality.
Where Titanic gave us epic storytelling and the Terminator(s) showed us innovative action, Avatar is an ultimate of Cameron's strengths as a filmmaker. For 161 minutes, Cameron pulls out all the stops to ensure the visual experience is nothing short of cinematic eye-candy. With a great mix of action, adventure, science-fiction, and romance, the story moves at an enjoyable pace and kept unwavering attention from the audience.
A new alien world comes to life in 3D, and everything from the animals to the vegetation to the people is fully believable through state-of-the-art CGI photorealistic imagery care of WETA Digital, the company renowned for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Where the visual aspects of this film are prevailing, I would have to criticize this film for poor scriptwriting. Many of the scenes involve army officials plotting battle or in battle sequences, and in these moments the actors are left to utter lame comments reminiscent of Larry the Cable Guy's less than stellar contribution “git ‘er done.” There were so many of these unimpressive lines in the film that I actually started to feel embarrassed for the actors, especially those from Michelle Rodriquez. That said, most of the characters were enjoyable to watch — even the evil ones, and the overall message is inspiring.
The visual appeal of the film is so overwhelming that performances by Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are all too easy to neglect. However, this cast delivered compelling and seamless performances.