According to the short blurb on the back of the Avatar DVD, those of us who haven’t seen Avatar yet, well we don’t actually exist. The DVD implores us to ‘Return to James Cameron’s Avatar – the greatest adventure of all time”.
As one of those nonexistent people who hadn’t seen Avatar at the cinema, I believe I’m not alone, and for the benefit of these unrecognised people, I’m going to give a brief rundown of the synopsis.
Basically a big bad mining corporation has been mining a precious mineral called unobtanium (sounds original, wonder where James got the inspiration…)on the distant planet of Pandora, they have a large military contingent to keep the locals (the Na’vi) from evicting them, but they need to find a better mining site, and the closest one is the Na’vi’s main village. Ooops. Fortunately for the big bad corporation, they have some scientist who have engineered Avatars in the image of the Na’vi and our main man Jake is going to try and be accepted as one of them so he can find out their secrets and make a corporate takeover of their land possible.
Of course Jake goes way off the plantation and falls in love with the daughter of the Na’vi leader, discovers he has a unique Na’vi connection with Pandora’s mother nature. This does not please the cooperation who decide to send in the military.
Of course, Jake, the stockholmed Na’vi leads his chosen people into battle against the nasty imperial corporation…
Clocking in at a massive 162 minutes, you would have thought that Cameron would at least build up a back story. but no, we jump right in with a slightly confusing situation that forces the fact that Jake is going to be helping out on Pandora. The story-line itself, as you can tell from the synopsis is far from original, and predictable as hell. The strange thing – although pretty obvious if you sit-down and think about the long run time – is that the whole affair is pretty dam boring. Sure there are moments where the action perks your interest, but once you get past the lush visuals – BluRay once again comes into it’s own with Avatar – there is little to keep you interested, besides the amusement of seeing Saving Private Ryan’s Irwin Wade in the role of the big bad corporate dude, a role similar to Alien’s Carter Burke.
I have no doubt that Avatar was amazing in 3D on the big screen, and the tremendous technical achievement would have been enough to carry the film. Sadly, in two dimensions on the small screen it just tuns out looking like Cameron was more interested in playing with technology rather that telling a decent story.
Having said all that, my wife, who after getting over the initial confusing opening scenes, and realising Avatar wasn’t a film about a computer game, found it quite enjoyable for the most part, though even she would admit that a lot more of the film should have ended up on the cutting room floor.
So I guess if you’re into Alien-Human romances with a bit of big time CGI action, or you love watching lush, CGI worlds that break all the laws of physics, drift past you for almost three hours, then Avatar is the film for you.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Release date: April 28th, 2010
Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, Laz Alonso, Dileep Rao, Matt Gerald, Sean Anthony Moran
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Supported Audio: DTS Digital Surround 5.1
Director: Cameron, James
Studio: Roadshow Entertainment