Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Avatar Review: Better late than never

I suppose it's only fitting that my review of Avatar comes weeks after I saw the film, considering it took Cameron years to get his epic action movie onto the big screen. With the holiday season and family obligations I have been forced to put off this review until today.

First and foremost, the visuals are everything you'd want them to be. Often times when I'm watching a CGI heavy movie I am continually conscious of the fact that those characters, locales, or whatever else don't actually exist. This is absolutely not the case with Avatar. Maybe it was the 3d effects or the the mass amounts of money thrown at this project, but these were hands down the best CGI visuals I've ever seen, and are reason alone to pay to see this movie in the theater.

As for the plot, it was good, but not spectacular. Many of the themes are retreads from other movies, and the characters are engaging without being outstanding. The plot really just served its purpose. It capably moved the story forward and offered us a reason to stay and enjoy the visual splendor of this film.

My only real issue with the film was the primary villain. He was incredibly one dimensional, hell-bent on blowing up as many blue-skinned cat people as he possibly could. I suppose I should have expected this from Cameron though, considering his most memorable prior villains are an emotionless cyborg bent on killing Sarah/John Connor and an iceberg. For all the good things Cameron can do, he really has trouble with complex antagonists. Maybe he'll get it right in the sequels, which are sure to happen.

No matter how you slice it this movie is pure popcorn flick fun. My one warning is that you really should see this movie in 3d. I decided to see it in both ways, and the 2d version really does not do the visuals justice.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5