While I was on holiday, the chance arose to see James Cameron’s acclaimed movie Avatar in a large shipboard cinema, and so – although I hadn’t planned to watch the film any time soon- I grabbed the opportunity. And I’m very glad I did, even without 3-D glasses to admire the amazing special effects.
It’s essentially an adventure story, with various classis elements. In 2154, a paralysed ex-marine, Jake Sully, replaces his recently deceased twin brother in a mission to distant Pandora, a mysterious place that has natural resource (the oddly named Unobtanium) needed by visitors from the dying Earth. Pandora is home to the Na’vi, and the idea is for Jake and colleagues to morph into avatars who are human-Na’vi hybrids, with a view to establishing links with the indigenous tribe.
Jake falls for a Na’vi lady, and the tribe’s way of life, but this precipitates a furious battle between the incomers (led by a caricatured military hard man) and the natives. The messages of the script may be unsophisticated, and the script is at times banal – I can’t understand why you would spend so much money on spectacular visuals and then settle for tin-eared dialogue - but the action is engrossing. Even though the film is very long, I was never bored.
Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver are effective in their lead roles, but the lasting memory I will take from Avatar is of Cameron’s brilliance as a film-maker. His movie is a fine piece of light entertainment, and literally wonderful to watch.