James Cameron proved, once again, that he could make and hype a movie towards box office gold. If for some reason you do not know who James Cameron is, well, then you’ve been living in a hole for the last two decades. Alternatively, if you have been watching any movies at all over the last two decades, then you have probably seen a James Cameron film. The man has written and directed a plethora of hits. Some of them are favorites of mines. Some of them are favorites of yours as well. Terminator 1 and 2, True Lies, Aliens and of course, Titanic, just to name a few. Not bad for a foul tempered Canadian eh?
I found Avatar to be lite fare. Other than the technology used to create it, it didn’t break any new ground as far as storytelling is concerned. You have heard this tale before, maybe you read the book or seen the movie (dances with wolves?), but it’s an old story. That’s not to say that it isn’t told well. Most stories are rehashes of old ones…well, technically, ALL stories are rehashes of old ones.
This is the story of what happens when Corporate Greed and Manifest Destiny arrive on the shores of a foreign land. They find the natives are sitting on top of the mother load of something that they want. We have plenty of real world examples of what that means. This is also the story of a crippled white soldier “going native”…yea, you’ve seen the “going native” story before as well.
Other than that, I don’t need to get into too many story details. Either you’ve seen it already or plan to get the DVD/Blu-ray. One of the points I am making here is, if you never see it, rest assured that you are not missing anything as far as stories go. You already know this one.
However, outside of the story, Avatar shines as imaginative eye candy. Cameron waited until the technology was just right to create the CG characters and gorgeous, gorgeous backdrops. The world of the Na’vi is rich, verdant, and beautiful. I’m not sure how all this will translate to the small screen, but on the big screen it’s awe inspiring.
Now when the visuals and story are put together, ahhhhh, now you got something. I know I may have sounded a bit disparaging about the plots lack of originality, but despite this, the visuals are what bring it to life. The visuals are what make you want to sit through that story. To see it acted out in meticulously crafted detail.
Of course, true to form, Cameron managed to fit a love story into Avatar as well. It serves to move the plot forward despite it being between a disabled former marine and a nine-foot tall blue alien. All in all, I think of Avatar like a fine Disney cartoon movie (with swearing and no one breaking out into song), and that’s not a negative remark in any sense of the word. It operates on the same level as some of Disney’s finest animated films. Action, adventure, humor, a love story, a moral lesson or two and maybe even something to think about.
You can probably even still find it in theaters…they are certainly milking it for all it’s worth. And I think, it’s worth quite a bit. See it, if you haven’t already.
Read the Avatar Screenplay / Script
The subject of this post was suggested to me. See this post for more details.
- Avatar on IMDB
- The Official Avatar Website: http://www.avatarmovie.com/
- The Official Avatar YouTube Page
- The Avatar Wikipedia Page
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