Avatar (2009) Review

Avatar (2009) Director: James Cameron



James Cameron is the Canadian deep sea explorer and filmmaker of such notable pictures as Terminator, Terminator II, Aliens, Titanic, and Avatar. Currently there is talk of creating a sequel to Avatar. Apparently, considerable time and effort went into the massive production for Avatar. When it was first released, the movie caused quite a sensation. James Cameron began production on the film as early as 1994 -it was intended to be released after Titanic, but the technology was not yet available to capture Cameron’s vision.

The Pocahontas-themed plot takes place in a dystopian future. Humans are colonizing other planets to harvest their resources. A group of humans travels to a planet called Pandora that contains high levels of “unobtanium” (yes, that truly is the name for the valuable mineral Cameron chose). However, on Pandora a tribal group called the Na’vi cause trouble for the humans -the Na’vi sacred lands are located directly above the mineral-rich area. The humans decide to assume “avatars” so they can infiltrate the Na’vi tribe and harvest the unobtanium. Predictably, the one man (in avatar) who successfully infiltrates their tribe falls in love with a woman, and then has a change of heart about conquering the Na’vi sacred lands. The story can be surmised from there -the good humans and the Na’vi go to war with the evil, profit-driven humans, and in the end goodness and love conquer evil and so on.

Not to be excluded from a blockbuster science fiction film, Sigourney Weaver stars in Avatar, along with others, like Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana.

As far as I can tell, the only redeeming part of this film is the extraordinary special effects. However, I am someone who is generally less impressed with CGI effects, and more inclined toward old-fashioned films that do not rely so heavily on computer graphics. The plot of Avatar is painfully sentimental, cringey, moralistic, overtly political and so on. It is a film that has not aged particularly well, despite the remarkable graphics for its time.

1 thought on “Avatar (2009) Review

  1. As far as the most substantial sci-fi film stories are concerned, Avatar was not as deserving for the 2009 Oscar nods as District 9, which clearly had the more realistic conflict between humanity and an alien race forced into coexistence. James Cameron is a phenomenal director thanks to what he achieved in the 20th century. But this century, even for acclaimed directors who are still working, has taught us that bigger is not as better as it used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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