Finally, it has come. James Cameron's latest epic, the most expensive film ever made, in digital 3D, yes ladies and gentleman....Avatar!! Man have I been waiting for this film to get released. I must have watched the 3 and 1/2 minute trailer over twenty times while waiting for this, and even the trailer was epic. James Cameron has made a few deep sea documentaries over the past few years but it hasn't been since 1997 when he made Titanic that he's made a feature film. He was WAY over due. All I have to say is, Mr. Cameron, it was well worth the wait my friend.
The story takes place well into the future and centers around it's main character Jake Sully played by the new born superstar Sam Worthington. Jake's a paraplegic war veteran who's been brought to a planet just outside of Earth called Pandora. He's on a team who's mission is to infiltrate and learn the way's of the native race called the Na'vi. They are each assigned their own Na'vi avatars which with the process of sitting in a machine allows them to be transported into their new Na'vi bodies and enter their world without the use of gas masks. Jake is soon torn between helping out with the friendly research of the Na'vi with Dr. Grace Augustine, played by Sigourney Weaver, or finding out ways to get what's buried beneath their sacred land for the gun-ho Marine Colonel Miles Quaritch, portrayed by the amazing Stephen Lange. Jake soon meets and falls in love with one of the Na'vi named Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldana who nails this role to perfection. He grows to love Neytiri, the Na'vi race, and culture more than his own human race. Jake soon takes their side and in a heroic spectacular battle fights with them against the human Marines led by Colonel Miles Quaritch.
With a running time of about 2 hours and 45 minutes I never once found myself bored during this film. It's so well made and so visually stunning to look at it's like being on a ride at Disney Land. The 3D (Real D) only enhances that aspect of the film. Although there aren't too many "jump out at the audience moments", the 3D still makes it an amazing thrill ride. It makes you feel like you yourself are actually transporting into the avatar (since that's where most of the 3D takes place). So when Jake transports into his avatar, we transport right there with him. The 3D also makes the viewing great in the scenes where there are little bugs or ash and embers flying around on the beautiful Pandora. A land more breathtaking and tropical than any island setting I have ever seen.
The story of "man going into a sacred land to fight the natives but turns good hearted and becomes friends with them" has been done before in films like Dances With Wolves, The Last Samurai, and The New World. But hey....I LOVE that story line and although it's been done before, James Cameron executes it very well with Avatar. Seeing the character of Jake Sully change from the moping hard headed paraplegic Marine into the loving adventurous and full of life Avatar is a great achievement from both the script department and actor Sam Worthington. The performances were great all around from Giovanni Ribisi to Sigourney Weaver, to Zoe Saldana to Sam Worthington. But my personal favorite performance was Stephen Lange as the Colonel. He was so bad-ass and so into the part, he wasn't just believable as the jacked up evil Marine but his character did everything that I would expect his character to do, he fights right up until the end of the film. He fights for what he believes in and for what he want's, even if it's wrong, even if he's killing innocent beings along the way, he's got a fucking job to do and he's gonna do it dammit. Let me just say one other thing without giving anything away, the ending was amazing and pleased me in every possible way that a film ending could.
Avatar should certainly win all technical awards that it's nominated for such as best sound, visual effects, etc. as The Lord of The Rings films did and it certainly deserves to. Avatar is a film about greed and passion. A film about doing what's right and protecting and fighting for what you believe in and what's sacred to you and your home. It's about protecting your fellow people and the land that has always been there for you. It's a beautiful ride. Put on those glasses....and take that ride. Avatar 3D gets 4 and 1/2 outa 5.