Avatar is interesting in the context that the world of Pandora is a huge fantasy treat to an aging geek like me. The storyline is predictable; the acting is pedestrian; there is really nothing “new” here in terms of plot or character. I’ve read all the complaints from people expecting more from Cameron.
People whinge about the simple plot. It’s enjoyable, but retread ground for sci fi buffs. And it didn’t bother me one bit. I didn’t even mind how crazy that Colonel gets; I assume he’s a habitual steroid abuser. It all fits if you think about it that way. Maybe the director’s cut will prove me right.
So, okay. So I didn’t cry in this film. I did come close a couple of times and I did care deeply about what was happening. I think Cameron was wise in weaving a simple story – he wasn’t out to tweak your mind in a Matrix way. That would detract from the canvas he’s created, in having a theater experience be so immersive! This is the most beautiful film ever made. I might have thought that previously about the New Zealand sets in Lord of the Rings…but honestly, there is simply no comparison.
This movie must be seen in 3D to truly understand the hype about Avatar. I normally dislike 3D films – I find ‘flinching’ effects cheap and exploitive. They take me out of the experience. A solid film doesn’t need to resort to this; Cameron proves 3D can be used in service to a good movie. After the first half hour you even forget you are wearing the glasses. The timing is just about right for when you need to get lost in the wonders of planet Pandora.
In fact, I want my next vacation there. Can I sign up for my own Avatar? Can I tame a dragon and swoop around the Hallelujah Range?
Since this kind of jaunt isn’t likely any time soon, I’ll just have to see Avatar again, and in IMAX 3D.