The anticipation for Avatar has been enormous, rivaled only by The Dark Knight recently. With the top-notch resume of James Cameron, the picture was certainly going to garner a lot of attention and gain a lot of box office dollars. The movie itself combines many elements from Cameron’s past. The sci-fi action is reminiscent of the Terminator films, and there is a Titantic-esque love story.
The best aspect of Avatar are the special effects. Visually, the film rivals and probably surpasses the LOTR trilogy. I got used to the glasses quickly and the 3-D was pretty straightforward, there were no tricks or teases like something coming out of the screen.
Story-wise, I thought it was pretty predictable. I’m sure most have seen the movie so no need for a detailed plot outline. Sam Worthington was kind of blah and Sigourney Weaver was rather annoying. The acting highlights were Stephen “George Pickett” Lange and Zoe Saldana. Lange’s death certainly brought back memories of Matrix Revolutions, and Saldana's Neytiri is in the conversation with Gollum in terms of the best computer-generated characters.
Most reviewers give Avatar the highest recommendation, and rightly so, it’s definitely worth seeing and an absolute visual treat. But unlike the opinions of some of my facebook friends, this is far from the greatest movie of all-time. Let’s be honest, it’s a sci-fi version of Dances With Wolves, but not as good.
3.5 out of 4 stars (A-)