Avatar (2009)

Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world and in here is the dream.

— Jake Sully

Avatar has been swimming around the mind of James Cameron for almost twenty years. I read the blurbs about two thirds of this movie will be completely computer generated and it will be in 3D. When I saw the trailers for this movie, I was not impressed. It was not my must-see. I went into this movie with low expectations. By the final shot of movie, I was glad that spent the past two and half hours in Pandora.

Taking place in 2154, a paraplegic ex-Marine, Cpl. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is asked to take the place of his twin brother, Tom who was recently murdered to a mission on the alien planet of Pandora. It has colonized by humans who want to gain access to a precious metal called Unobtanium that could help solve their energy crisis. The mission is headed by the power hungry Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribsi).

There is one major problem that stand in their way, the native inhabitants of the planet called the Na’vi. They are ten-foot blue creatures that are very resourceful and would kill anymore that threaten their land.

Jake is taken to Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) who is heading up the Avatar program, which infuses human DNA wit that of the Na’vi. She doesn’t think that a guy with no training should meld his mind into the avatar, but she has no choice. Jake will be her security escort when the team explores the vast forests of the planet.

When Jake wakes up in the avatar, he cannot believe that he has the power of walk again. He is like a kid in a candy store. On a routine scouting mission, Jake is confronted by ferocious Pandorian animals that force him way from the group. Rescue efforts by team with the help of pilot, Trudy Chacon (Michelle Rodgriguez) had to be suspended until the next morning.

Alone in the now fluorescent wonderland, Jake has to fend for himself against potential predators. A young Na’vi girl, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) helps Jake fend off some predators when Neytiri’s tribe headed by her brother, Tsu’tey (Laz Alonzo) confronts the duo. Jake is taken to the village where Neytiri’s parents, Eytukan and Moat (Wes Studi, CCH Pounder) want to learn more about the outsider. With a single ritual by Moat, Jake has gained a way into the Na’vi inner circle.

Taking advantage of the opportunity is hotshot Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) who wants Jake to infiltrated the way of life of the Na’vi; learn their language, customs and other rituals in order to gain access the rich Unobtanium deposit that is in the Na’vi homeland. The colonel promises if he could get the Na’vi to leave the land after three months, then Jake could get a new pair of working legs.

As Jake begins the lessons with Neytiri appointed by her mother to do, he realizes that he is not sure what side to fight for, the humans or the Na’vi.

There have been comparisons of this movie to Dances with Wolves. I can see that, but the movie is much more than that. The movie is manifest destiny and retelling the history of any indigenous people that have massacred by another race, because they are different from them only from the natives perspective. The Native Americans, the Aborigines, the Incas, the Mayans, the Aztecs have been affected by “civilizing the savages”. Maybe the people doing the killing are the true savages. I also got the feeling that this movie could be a mirror for the War on Terror.

The computer generated shot were seamless and I forgot that I looking a computer generated blue alien for a while. The environments were gorgeous to behold. The depth and scope were breathtaking, but I wonder will the movie lose its impact if it comes out on DVD. It’s not going to be the same experience seeing the movie in 2D, instead of 3D.

The movie is not perfect. I saw the movie in the true fashion that he wanted, in 3D. I felt that some of the effects were made a little sloppy at times when you can clearly see something that was put in the foreground in the real life shot. There were some pacing problems that I had with last third of the movie. The plot of the movie is not unique. The characters are not well-developed, but Neytiri was the best character in the whole movie. I was bothered about some parts in the ending, which I will discuss in the spoiler section.

Judgment: This is movie event of the year. This is a must-see in 3D.

Rating: ****


The thing bothered when Jake confesses about his true intentions at being the colony. He is shut out. Then, he regains their trust in a split because he got tame that big red pterodactyl to lead them into battle with the humans. I don’t understand that. What he has done got Grace, Eytukan and dozens of Na’vi killed. They are so forgiving.

In addition, I thought that when the colonel gives the dossier on the Na’vi that they are hard to kill. When they got into battle, the Na’vi are picked off like humans.

About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on January 2, 2010, in 2009, Academy Award Winner, Action, Adventure, Running Feature, Sci Fi, Thriller, Top 250 of All Time on IMDB and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I didn’t have as many issues as you did but I loved it.


    The part with the Tak Ma’Rah I was okay with because it proved he was really one of them. Plus it proved he came back with nothing to gain after hometree was destroyed.

    As for them getting destroyed, yeah I agree with your point, but often in films like this a suddenly unstoppable force becomes stoppable for whichever side it needs to play storywise. In this kind of movie that’s something easy for me to ignore.

    *spoiler end*

    Agree though, to fully appreciate should be seen in 3D

  2. In response to your SPOILER section:

    As far as forgiveness goes – the whole initiation to their society was a big deal. When Jake reminds the Na’vi that he’s one of them – he’s not messing around. He went through all the rituals to become one of the tribe and if they turned their back on him they’d be turning their backs on their own traditions, admitting that their rites of passage weren’t adequate to weed out the unfit.

    So I think that Jake could have come back and lived with the tribe in disgrace if he’d done nothing but apologize. But when he comes back with Turuk, their culture demands that they show the man respect.

    Uh, I think that makes sense.

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