Avatar opening weekend has finally arrived and James Cameron definitely did not disappoint! Avatar is an amazing film that grabs you immediately and doesn’t let go until well after the end credits. There are no boring parts. The 3-D is used well, not throwing things at you all the time but giving you depth perception that brings the computer generated world to life. Everywhere you look there is something new to discover; it’s almost too much to absorb on the first try.
The story in brief is about a marine, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who travels to the planet Pandora to join the Avatar project team. His mind is connected to a genetically compatible test tube body that is to all effects, a body of a native Na’vi. This allows him to interact with the local tribe as he becomes increasingly entwined with his new surroundings. The problem is that Jake’s human friends are on the planet to exploit it, and the Na’vi are in the way. Yes, this type of story has been told before but it doesn’t drown in clichés like I was afraid it would and it adds unexpected twists.
Our blue Latino warriors Zoe Saldaña (as Neytiri) and Laz Alonso (as Tsu’Tey) really brought it and even though they were playing computer generated characters, the motion capture in 3-D truly made their facial expressions shine through. Also, the voices were all theirs and when they spoke the Na’vi language (a complete language created by USC professor Paul Frommer) they were absolutely believable. Kudos to the language coach (Carla Meyer appears as the dialect coach on IMDB) for giving the non-natives a noticeable accent and making the Na’vi actors appear fluent. And thank you subtitle font people for using Papyrus when Na’vi was spoken. It was as pretty as the language.
Our non-blue warrior chica Michelle Rodríguez (playing Trudy Chacón) kicked ass and was a favorite (at least in my theater) judging by the applause she got. Trudy is a helicopter pilot, part of the group of mercenaries on Pandora. She becomes an important part of the inevitable rebellion, and I’m pleased she had such a prominent role that wasn’t computer generated and an actual Latina character. Latinas on Pandora FTW!
On the science fiction side, this movie has enough creatures, glowing plants, weapons and technology to satisfy any sci-fi or fantasy fan. There is plenty to dissect here and obsess over, my fellow geeks! It is jaw-dropping gorgeous and with the 3-D even more so. Hi-tech labs, fantastic myths come to life, and heart-stopping battle scenes round out this film to make it an absolute must-see.