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Review: Avatar

February 27, 2010

By Chad Larson

I’ve got to admit, I did my best to not get sucked in to the “Avatar” hype. I had a really hard time believing that a movie about blue cat people was the thing that was going to ultimately reinvent everything we know about movies, and the barrage of announcements that virtually every new popcorn movie coming out in the next 12 years was going to be 3D also made me a little apprehensive.

So today, I finally saw “Avatar.” And I was blown away. I didn’t see it in 3D but I wish I had. Visually, this movie is just incredible. The worldbuilding that James Cameron and company have accomplished with this film is fantastic, and it shows with the wildlife shown on Pandora during the first few times we see Jake Sully and crew venture in to the forest.

A lot of people complained that the story wasn’t up to par with the effects, but I have to disagree. The characters were all fairly well developed, and even though the movie is quite long, I never really felt bored enough that I lost interest. There’s really not anything that I can say could have been left out and not been detrimental to the story.

I did get a bit of a laugh at first at how the Na’vi sync up to their animals to control them, but once the movie explained how Pandora and the syncing system worked, I was satisfied with it. The only complaint I really have is that the ending scene was pretty easy to predict after another scene earlier in the movie.

Yes, Avatar’s story is a bit stereotypical and it’s ending was a bit predictable. But not enough to really kill my enjoyment of the movie.

Another thing that initially gave me paused about Avatar was the near-immediate announcement of a sequel. I am of the belief that it’s not always necessary to do a sequel to a movie just because it makes a lot of money at the box office, and in this age of rehashes, reboots and threequels it made me wonder if a sequel would feel tacked on.

But I don’t think it would. I think there’s so much left to tell outside of this story. It’d be like another culture seeing a movie about a single large battle in World War II and nothing else of our entire history. A direct sequel isn’t even necessary with the world that they’ve created. They could go far into the future, or far into the past, or even to one of the other worlds near Pandora that are shown briefly.

There’s not many times that I’m left really craving a sequel or more expansion on a story. District 9 was the last non-franchise movie that gave me that feeling. Avatar joins that club for me now.

If you haven’t seen it, go see it. In 3D. It really is great. And even if you don’t like the story, the visuals in this movie are worth the cost of admission on their own.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 27, 2010 1:15 am

    I was on Yahoo and found your blog. Read a few of your other posts. Good work. I am looking forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Tom Stanley

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