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My review of Avatar (Spoiler Free)


Avatar is James Cameron’s opus. He’s been working on it for the last fifteen years, a fact that is certain to raise most people’s expectations to impossible-to-meet standards. Without going into details, the film focuses on a future where the human race is attempting to mine an inhabited planet for a valuable resource. The inhabitants, a tall, strong, blue-skinned humanoid people called the Na’vi, are resisting, and so Na’vi bodies are grown that can be controlled remotely by humans so that they can walk among this alien race.

The story is predictable and simple. It’s Dancing With Wolves meets Alien meets The Abyss. The original script treatment by Cameron had many more elements that created ambiguity and complexities that were noticeably absent in this version. I have no doubt that the director’s cut will likely contain some of these aspects and will probably be six hours long, too.

Even with the basic plot and one-dimensional characters, the movie is phenomenal. I saw it in 3D, and the world was so engrossing that you begin to get lost in it. At one point, characters in the movie raised their arms, and I almost yelled at the people sitting in front of me because I thought it was them. You forget that most of the movie is not real. Each Na’vi is so realistic, with subtle facial expressions and a tangible feeling of having a soul, that you are fully invested in each of them as characters.

This movie earns its PG-13 rating. It’s dark and violent and will frighten small children. The two five year old children seated behind me were perfect examples of kids who should not have been at this movie, especially since their mother had to leave with them about half way through. This is a movie for kids 10 and older, at the very minimum, and only those who have the attention span to sit still for almost three hours.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film and can’t wait to go back and watch it again, this time in IMAX 3D. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year. I give it four and a half out of five stars.

22 thoughts on “My review of Avatar (Spoiler Free)”

  1. Thank you for the kid warning. I haven’t had time to read much about this movie and I got the impression from my 11 year old that it was okay for kids. Sounds like I’ll need a sitter for Thomas in order to take Dylan though! πŸ™‚

  2. I’ll agree with your review here. The world was so imaginative that the weakness of the plot was really easy to overlook. Take Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart,” add in a few mechs and some aliens, and you’ve got Avatar.

    Really, though, I’ve sat through many shorter movies that felt longer than the massive 3 hours of this one did.

  3. I agree 100%
    We saw the movie the other night and I came out RAVING. I couldn’t shut up the whole way home. I wanted to see it again, and RIGHT AWAY! I would like to see it in IMAX 3D but the closest place for that is in Den Haag and my husband really isn’t keen to go in there (it’s a driving / parking nightmare).

    I have read some reviews and people are so critical about the story and the messages about humans and the environment etc, but I am really not that difficult to please. Ok yeah so it could have been more complex but, like you said, in order to get all those fantastic scenery shots in and have all the extra story too, we’d all be sitting there for 4+ hours!

  4. I can’t wait to see this! My kids are excited too. I love it when an animated movie can keep adults entertained too.
    Interesting that James Cameron waited so long… I heard somewhere that he was waiting for CGI & technology to catch up to his visual.

  5. I am really, really interested in seeing this… I’ve heard nothing but great reviews from people who’ve seen it. Plus, I saw James Cameron talking about it and that made me want to see it even more.

  6. My husband saw it last night and said almost he exact same things about it as soon as he got home. The character development was his only complaint. Otherwise, he claims it to be the most beautifully done movie he’s ever seen.

    I’ll be going to see the digital 3-d version as soon as our holiday babysitters, I mean company arrives. He saw it in IMAX and I just can’t do that. Motion sickness from a movie sucks!

  7. i went friday night to a 3d xd showing (although i don’t know the difference between regular old 3d and extreme 3d). i was slightly concerned that it might be a bit much for new guy’s son, who is 10. not at all…he loved the movie and sat quieter than i did (i let out a few soft “oh my” and “holy shit” type comments).

    thank you for saying that you almost hollered at folks to put their hands down because i had the same experience! the movie was so fantastic that i forgot it was 3d and simply became engrossed in it. the guy next to me in the sold out theater put his hand out to catch a burning ember that was falling. made me giggle.

    i want to see avatar again in an imax setting as well as in regular ole movie format.

  8. I’m planning to see it in IMAX 3D soon. I’ve been disappointed with the other recent 3D I’ve seen (Up and Ice Age 3). In both of those, I could barely tell the movie wasn’t 2D and the colors were muted by the glasses.

  9. I have to agree with your overview. I saw it yesterday, in 3D, and walked out with a “wow” look on my face. Wicked good.

    Similar to your experience with the arms raising in the movie, a scene in the forest on Pandora had all these little bugs flying around. I tried to swat one thinking it was in the theater. ooops.


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