Avatar (12A)

On general release from 17th December 2009
Written and directed by James Cameron

Reviewed by Beth Kelly

A cinematic spectacle, Avatar hurls you into the seductive, captivating and tantalisingly impossible world of the Na’vi in their exotic, yet increasingly vulnerable homeland of Pandora.

Finding himself abruptly involved in the expedition for the ironically named ‘unobtanium’ on this alien moon, it is the protagonist Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) who must assume the position of his recently deceased twin, infiltrating the native tribe by operating his brother’s hybrid, alien body or ‘Avatar’. However, this film is not crammed full of tedious sci-fi facts as you may expect, but is essentially an unconventional yet enchanting and refreshing love story between Jake and the stunning native girl, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).

The intermingling of slightly cringe-worthy romance and explosive, fury-fuelled action serves this film surprisingly well. Admittedly, I didn’t expect to be particularly engaged for all of the 161 minutes, but found myself utterly consumed by the rich intensity of the Na’vi’s intimate relationship with nature, marred by the ignorant militancy of the human invaders. The destruction of Pandora’s magical world and the Na’vi’s ‘Home-Tree’ also obviously serves as a vessel for Avatar’s political messages and Cameron’s profound, green and planet-friendly philosophy.

Visually, Avatar is remarkably beautiful. The 3D effects adds an extra ferocity to the blazing explosions and fast paced fight scenes, while contributing to the delicacy of the scenery with subtle details as intricate as 3D flies and individual blades of grass – the transitions between film and CGI is impressively flawless.

While the plot is unfortunately rather predictable, Avatar is a triumph in providing gripping and involving, family entertainment. The biggest selling movie of all time, why not go see what all the fuss is about?

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