Avatar : the movie to redefine movies?

7 Apr

The box office smash that is Avatar exploded onto our cinema screens in stunning 3-D just a few months ago, and it seems to have swept the nation, becoming one of the most talked about films since James Cameron’s last true epic, Titanic. After the film picked up nine nominations and three awards at March’s Oscars, I decided it was time I found out what the big fuss was about.

Being in my usual fashionably late style, I was too late to catch the film in 3D at my local cinema in Coventry, and had to take a long bus ride to nearby Leamington to watch it in all it’s 3D glory.

The first question I have to ask my self is, is it really worth all the hype? And to be honest, I’m still undecided on that point. Whilst the visual effects and cinematography are certainly second to none, I can’t help but feel the story gets a little lost in the stunning scenery.

Make no mistake; this film is worth going to see purely on visual merit. Creating an entire new world, complete with exotic colourful banshees and the infamous blue “Avatars”, the CGI in this film is exceptional, and it pulls the viewer into the planet of Pandora, where the Avatars reside. We follow Jake Sully, a paralysed ex-marine who replaces his brother on a mission to infiltrate with the people of Pandora, called the Na’vi.

As Jake learns the traditions and ways of the Na’vi people, we learn with him, and as he slowly falls in love with the colony’s back-to-basics way of life, the viewer does too. Here Cameron creates an entirely new cultural existence, in fact, when I came out of the cinema, I found myself wishing that I could be an Avatar!

In a way, I got the impression that Avatar was trying to be all things to all people, a bit of a jack of all trades, if you will. At times I have to admit that I felt the culmination of action, romance, fantasy and sci-fi felt a little clumsy, although the storyline did work well. And, as a result of this merge of genres, the film certainly has something to offer everybody.

So, was it the movie to redefine movies? No, I don’t think so. Was it an enjoyable, exotic piece of escapism for a few hours? Yes. At a little under three hours, the film is slightly overlong, but worth a watch none the less, if only to see what all the fuss is about!


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