Film Review: Avatar

Starring: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoey Saldana

Directed by: James Cameron

Just got back from seeing Cameron’s “Avatar”, here is my review:

Plot/Synopsis: Sam Worthington plays a former U.S. marine named, Jake Scully, who is paralyzed from the waist down. He is stuck on a wheelchair for life. Jake is selected to participate in a science experiment that was held by the Marines, in the Avatar program, to replace his twin brother Tony, whose Avatar is compatible with him too.

Jake was ordered to travel to planet Pandora which is a planet that is full of unique life forms. On it, are these blue colored people called, the Na’vi, which are controlled by actual humans by experiment.

Instead of following orders of the Avatar experiment by the Marines, Jake becomes obsessively attracted with these Na’vi people and becomes part of them himself. He falls in love with a female, Na’vi named, Neytiri (Zoey Saldana). Now that Jake had betrayed the Marines…the Marines decides to destroy Pandora and it’s people, while Jake does his best to help the Na’vi people survive.

When movie critics and fans say that this movie is like a “live action video game”, I’m going to have to agree with them. It does seem like a “live action video game”, indeed. Pretty much the whole movie felt like a video game. When it comes to the action scenes, the hero needs to survive like a video game, when the action scenes get over with, it goes to a cut movie scene like a video game. It’s like that throughout the whole movie.

Especially the final fight scene at the end of the movie when Col. Quaritch (the film’s villain played by Stephen Lang) fights Jake Scully at the end of it. Quaritch gets into this huge robotic machine to fight Jake as the Na’vi. The robotic machine felt like it came from “Transformers” or the, “Metal Gear Solid” video games.

Is James Cameron a big video gamer himself? It seems that he is, ’cause it seems like he is borrowing a lot from action/adventure type of games. I felt like this movie was too much, “Terminator”, it definitely had a lot of “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” in it, and too much, “Metal Gear Solid”.

Like usual, there is also a bit of romance in this movie ’cause everyone knows Cameron is a romance nut too.

I was most impressed with the film’s special effects and cinematography. I also loved the musical score and the action scenes were kind of fun. I must say that Christmas time was a bad time to release this, ’cause this was more of a summer movie. It is definitely a popcorn action fest.

Is it worthy for “Best Picture” of the Oscars? Definitely not. The writing needs to be better ’cause the plot was kind of cheesy. The acting of the cast was ok, but I am glad that Sigourney Weaver and Cameron reunited. This isn’t a cameo for Signourney, she is pretty much part of the lead, she was in the movie throughout. Michelle Rodriguez had a small role in the flick which was entertaining.

I can see this film winning Oscar awards for Special Effects and the Cinematography categories definitely. Other than that, the film was pretty good, exceptionally entertaining. It doesn’t make my top 5 best films of the year for 2009 though, I can tell ya that. This is nothing I would see again or buy on DVD. I did like the film though.

Cameron plans to make this a trilogy as he already confirmed for us online. It will definitely be a trilogy ’cause the ending left open for another film. I hope the sequels will be better.

Score for “Avatar” – *** 3 stars as in good

Kev

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