Out of this world. Out of this world. Out of this world! The latest offering from legendary director James Cameron is nothing less than wonderful. With the most financially successful film of all time - Titanic, as his last effort- Cameron had quite a challenge in creating a project that would come anywhere close to sinking that figurative ship of a milestone. To say Cameron met the challenge would be the understatement of the century, as he not only created a beautiful film - he created a whole new world in which this movie takes place.
Avatar is the story of ex marine, Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington. Sully joins a mission that his late brother was committed to, before his death in the line of duty. Sully takes his brothers place in the Avatar program due to the similarity in his DNA. In the film, the U.S. government has a plan to excavate an ore found on the planet Pandora, light years away from Earth. The planet's indigenous people, the Na'vi are a nature rooted, spiritual people who believe every living creature and organism is connected through energy. To survive on Pandora, humans need to use a breathing apparatus or live through a life like humanoid called Avatars that are grown in a lab using Na'vi and human DNA.
The Na'vi female who befriends Jake Sully and becomes his love interest is Neytiri, voiced by actress Zoe Saldana. ( I think the movie makers made her look intentionally similar to Angelina Jolie in the movie poster). The incredible beauty of the Na'vi people are one of the big stars of the this film. The imaginative design and look of this life form are part futuristic and historic at the same time. The Na'vi give us the feeling of indigenous tribes we know on Earth such as Native Americans, or perhaps tribes of Africa. They are beautiful and primal, muscular and sleek, tall and graceful. They introduce a new race to the psyche - as they have blue skin. The way they are treated by the new arrivals to their land, unfortunately, is not so new.
Pandora itself is the big star of the film. Every single element from the Tree of Souls, to the Alleluia mountains aka The Floating Mountains of Pandora are breathtaking. The flying creatures open your mind to imagine the possibilities of evolution, and the revolution of nature that could be taking place on planets far, far away. From the Pandoran wild dogs to the six legged horses, each and every creature is a work of art. I'm sure jewelry maker- Pandora is getting an unintentional boost to their brand recognition thanks for Avatar. While subliminal, it will have a literal effect on sales!
The story has many metaphors and moral lessons for the modern world. Many on the political right in the U.S. have said the film is anti-American. The film shows one government that is determined to take a natural resource from another people at any cost, including the lives of the inhabitants of that planet. I think if we can draw a parallel to any foreign policy actions of the U.S. to those in the film, that is the real issue and speaks volumes for itself. The fact that Jake Sully is financially motivated to join the Avatar program, in order to be able to afford medical treatment to repair his legs back on Earth, is a sad but true parallel to our current reality. Let's just say, I think it would be a safe bet that James Cameron did not vote for George Bush.
Bravo to James Cameron for creating this film, for delivering such a hopeful message of peace and love, and to 20th Century Fox for distributing it. It will be the highest grossing film of all time, and rightfully so. While Avatar is pure entertainment, let's hope that the message of equality and universal love can change the hearts and minds of those who have contempt for their fellow man.
This film is so BIG, it is not a question of if you should see it, but how. There are currently 4 versions playing. There is the traditional 2D version, and three, 3D versions out there - the most spectacular is the IMAX 3D. Seeing Avatar in IMAX almost makes you feel like you are in outer space!
Of course the video game is already available on Playstation, xbox, Wii, etc. There is also an iphone Avatar game and just about any other media outlet you can imagine has a program. There is no escaping Avatar! But then again, why would you want to? Watch the trailer below.