Avatar (2009)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy


Avatar (2009) Poster

A paraplegic Marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.


7.8/10
1,092,688

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

James Cameron

Writer:

James Cameron

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


18 December 2009 | deathscythe_42
9
| A Whole New World
Director James Cameron's return to the world of science fiction cinema is a glorious one indeed. Twelve years after delivering us the highest grossing film of all time, Cameron brings us the sci-fi epic Avatar, a film that is not only visually breathtaking, but also character driven, emotional, exciting, effective, and masterfully directed.

The marketing and hype for this movie was mostly based around the groundbreaking visual effects, so I'll start there. I was lucky enough to get to see this film in a digital 3D theater. My only complaint is with myself, in that I wish I had seen a couple of 3D movies before this one. This was my first experience with a 3D film, so I really didn't have anything to compare it against, but all I knew from the very first shot of the movie was that this was going to be unlike anything I had ever seen before. At first it took me a while to adjust to the dimensions of the film, but after my eyes got used to what i was seeing, I realized that what I was looking at was not a 3D gimmick but a world with an incredible amount of depth. James Cameron rarely gets right in your face with the big things in this movie. He is more subtle than that. The things that appear to be directly in front of you (and they really do) are the little things that capture the ambiance of the scene and make you feel like you're there with the characters. The rest of the 3D effect serve to add dimensions and reality to the scenes.

The visual achievement in this film is not in the action scenes (which are some of the most exciting I've ever seen) but in the lengths that were gone to to bring this world to life. James Cameron has created a planet, a species, and a culture that work in perfect harmony with each other, and likewise the visuals are in perfect harmony. I'll admit I was a little apprehensive that this movie was more computer animated than live action. To me that usually suggests that a film crew is getting lazy, and that it's going to look like a video game. That is not at all the case here. The truth is that without computer animation there is no other way this film would have looked this impeccable. The planet of Pandora is extremely beautiful and detailed, and the Na'vi species fit with it perfectly. In all honesty, you can in fact tell that the aliens are computer animated. They still haven't quite attained the ability to make CG characters that look absolutely 100% unquestionably real, and in a live action world they might still have suffered the out-of-place look that many CG characters in movie get. However, in the computer animated world of Pandora, they blend in seamlessly and beautifully. This is of course not to downplay the design of the na'vi. They look as real as you could possibly hope for. The nearness they have come to looking real, the motion capture used in this movie, the range of facial expressions and emotions that they show, are all unprecedented.

All of that being said, the next big question about this movie is this: Are visual effects all it has to offer? My answer: Not at all. The depth of Avatar goes far beyond the visuals themselves.

As with all of Cameron's movies, Avatar is character driven. The central characters of the film are all dynamic, well written, and very well acted. You go on an adventure with them and throughout the movie you fall in love them (or grow to despise them depending on which characters).

The general plot-line of the movie is a bit generic but that's okay. No, the premise isn't anything completely brand new, but it's still an excellent plot, and one that is familiar to our society and very important for us to remember. Along with that there are still several aspects of the plot that are quite original. James Cameron took a familiar story, one that many storytellers before him have told version of, and made it his own. Furthermore, this is one of those movies where you predict things because you want to see them happen, and when your predictions turn out to come true it's gratifying. That's not to say that everything is predictable, because that would get old. Don't worry, Cameron has thrown in a fair amount of little surprises too.

This film is also as much emotionally effective as it is visually effective. James Cameron is a master at getting a certain emotion or feeling out of his viewers, and every scene in the movie works toward one or more of these effects. It's very light-hearted at times, with a good bit of comedic relief, and then quite intense in other scenes. Some scenes make you fear for the main characters, or perhaps even for yourself. Much of the film is brimming with anticipation and suspense, and several scenes had me simply grinning with excitement.

Overall this is one of the greatest cinematic experiences I've ever had. Avatar is groundbreaking, dynamic, powerful, and a ton of fun. I must say it was worth the wait, but I certainly hope Cameron is here to stay this time.

10/10

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

Titanic

Titanic

Gravity

Gravity

Life of Pi

Life of Pi

The Martian

The Martian

Deadpool

Deadpool

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

Black Panther

Black Panther

The Revenant

The Revenant

Iron Man

Iron Man

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Jurassic World

Jurassic World

The Avengers

The Avengers

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Na'vi language was created entirely from scratch by linguist Dr. Paul R. Frommer. James Cameron hired him to construct a language that would be easy for actors to pronounce but would not resemble any human language. Frommer created about 1,000 words.


Quotes

Jake Sully: When I was lying in the V.A. hospital with a big hole blown through the middle of my life, I started having these dreams of flying. I was free. But sooner or later, you always have to wake up.


Goofs

In the nightclub scene on Earth when Jake is thrown out into the street, you can see his legs move and stiffen into a bent position (which are supposedly paralyzed) in anticipation of landing on the ground.


Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits of any kind (outside of the 20th Century Fox title card). The title of the film doesn't appear on screen until the end of the movie.


Alternate Versions

The 178-minute extended version has the same additions as included in the 2010 Special Edition with the following additions and changes:

  • The biggest addition is the alternate opening with Jake describing life on Earth. At a bar with his friend he picks a fight with a man who was hitting his girlfriend. However, he is thrown out by the doorman into a back alley. Two men then approach him to tell him about his twin brother Tommy's death and the proposal of taking his brother's place. There's a closeup shot of Tommy's face as he's cremated which morphs to Jake aboard the spaceship, emphasizing that he & Tommy are twins.
  • Before flying from the Venture Start to Pandora, an extra line of the pilot has been added: "Copy, Venture Star. Go for de-orbit burn at 2-2-4 niner."
  • The next two additions deal more with the abandoned school scene in the Special Edition. The first one happens when Grace considers a picture of Neytiri that Jake finds; Grace remembers her time with Neytiri & her twin sister Sylwanin. She reveals her dead, obviously killed by the mercenaries as well as Norm once had a relationship with her.
  • The second addition: After Grace insists Jake eat something, he sees a picture of Grace teaching a few Na'vi at school, two of them being a young Neytiri and her twin Sylwanin. She describes what happened on the day Sylwanin was killed and how the school was abandoned.
  • After the marines vacate the lab and prepare for retaliation, there is an extension of the scene which reveals that the marines wanted and planned for a war with the Na'vi. The small sequence that happens in the theatrical version after that was removed.
  • There is also the alternative Family-friendly audio track, which substitutes profane words with a more clean words. James Cameron said in an interview that the track was included when his young son complained on hearing that accidentally while playing the movie.


Soundtracks

I See You (Theme from Avatar)
Performed by
Leona Lewis
Music by James Horner and Simon Franglen
Lyrics by Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell, and James Horner
Produced by Simon Franglen and James Horner
Leona Lewis performs courtesy of Syco Music

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

"Never Have I Ever" Star's Favorite Movie Jock

Darren Barnet, the star of Mindy Kaling's new Netflix series "Never Have I Ever," had his mind blown by this fave film.

Watch now

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com