Avatar 3D (12A)
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Rodriguez
Director: James Cameron
Running Time: 161 minutes
Avatar was said to be revolutionary, state of the art, will change the way we watch cinema and I couldn’t agree more. This film is immense.
Usually when films develop as much hype as this has picked up, we’re all usually let down big time and the best bits are shown in the trailers. But this wasn’t to be the case with Avatar and its trailer. The backbone of the story sees humans on a planet (which is actually a moon) called Pandora, and they’re there to mine for a certain mineral which is ridiculously expensive and it just so happens that the biggest deposit of the mineral is right underneath the natives’ (who are called the Na’vi) home.
Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is a marine who cannot walk and is wheelchair bound, and is sent to Pandora in place of his recently deceased twin brother who was working on the Avatar project. Jakes DNA is a perfect match so that he can download into his Avatar and walk in the toxic atmosphere and to become friendly with the Na’vi to gain information on how they live. He starts off as an escort to the scientists of the Avatar programme so they can collect samples and learn more about the planet and other details about their lives which I won’t go into as I don’t want to spoil parts of the film for you. But towards the end, Jake falls in love with one of the natives and their whole way of life and the forests in which they live and chooses to fight alongside the Na’vi against the cancerous humans who the majority are Marine jarheads and all they want to do is kill and go to war.
The cast all do a brilliant job throughout and I thought that Stephen Lang was fantastic as Colonel Quaritch and really comes across as someone who you wouldn’t want to mess with. Giovanni Ribisi plays a great role as the exec who takes orders from above and all he cares about the mining as much of the mineral as possible to make his bosses happy. Sam Worthington is solid throughout in both his live performances and the motion capture performance as one of the Na’vi along with Zoe Saldana who plays Neytiri and is Jake Sully’s love interest. A lot of people have said in the past that mo-cap doesn’t reflect characters true emotions as their eyes are ‘dead’, and I completely agree. You can read so much emotion just from people’s eyes, but Cameron has nailed this in Avatar. You really feel like the emotions that they’re feeling on screen and even the lip-sync is superb. I’ve seen other mo-cap films where it looks like they’ve got wooden jaws, but I cannot praise Avatar enough for how good everything looks. I think had they not go this right, you wouldn’t have really cared about the Na’vi as you just wouldn’t feel anything for them, but thankfully this isn’t the case.
James Cameron has done a great job with how deep the storyline goes. Usually films with this much CGI rely heavily on wowing their audiences with effects, but Cameron, true to form uses a decent storyline followed by effects. It really is groundbreaking stuff and when he said he wanted to make this film as photo realistic as possible, he wasn’t kidding. There are still the odd parts when you can tell you’re watching something that has been animated, but for the most part you completely forget about it and it really does seem like you’re in the forest with the Na’vi. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again, I’m a nerd when it comes to attention to detail and Avatar is full of it and I really do feel like this adds that something extra that makes it stand out from the rest and make it special.
At first the 3D was impressive, but I was thinking, it’s not really as amazing as what I thought it was going to be like. But as soon as you go into the forests of Pandora, your jaw drops at just how gorgeous and lush the environment is. I can’t remember any part of the film where things jumped out of the screen at you, but this is a good thing. That’s not what the whole 3D experience is about anymore. It’s there to make you feel like you’re part of the film, like you’re being chased by some massive monster or flying through the skies of Pandora. Certain scenes like the floating islands are something to behold as it looks like the BBC were there filming Life, it looks that real. I really found the 3D and effects to be absolutely breathtaking.
Of course there will be some silly sod out there who will think it’s too CGI heavy and the storyline weak, but they’re the kind of people who already have their minds made up about a film before ever seeing it. It’s got a bit of everything for everyone. Loads of Sci-Fi stuff for the nerds, a love story so that guys can convince their other halves to go see it and some amazing action scenes filled with massive explosions for everyone else.
Avatar is the best film I saw in 2009. A strong storyline followed up by immense effects and such gorgeous 3D I was still dribbling after almost 3 hours. This will go down as a cult Sci-Fi film and you don’t want to miss out on seeing it in glorious 3D.
5 out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.