I checked out Avatar last night with my dad, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I walked into it with mixed emotions. After hearing all the hype, I wanted to either love it and be able to get fully into it, or to be able to criticize it effectively. I was really left no option at all except to fall head-over-heels in love with it.
As much as I’d like to be a rare nay-sayer on this one, it’s just not there. This movie was amazing. What blows my mind the most I think is that the movie didn’t take a new approach to writing, as did Momento, or even action really. It was just a plain good action movie. They didn’t have to have crazy plot twists or anything to make a great movie, they just took the classic action template, and did it better than anyone before them.
Of course to mention Avatar without talking about the visuals would be wrong. There have been stacks of articles and blog posts about how Avatar was filmed, but to be honest I am glad I didn’t read any before seeing it. To see something as realistic as that was and have no knowledge of technology capable of creating that just made the movie that much more magical. The integration of live action and CGI (or whatever it was) was so seamless that it simply felt real. I saw it in 3D (which I highly recommend) and besides having amazing CGI, the scenes with humans in them felt like I could have reached out and touched them.
Despite having great visuals and a perfectly executed plot, what sealed the deal for Avatar in my eyes was the character development. Forty minutes into it, I was feeling indifferent about the movie. The visuals were great, for sure, but nothing had really jumped out and hooked me in. Somewhere along the way, as the lead character is running though the (beautiful) forest with the female lead, I found myself smiling. I realized then that I was proud of this guy. This alien-looking guy who I could barely identify with at all had earned a place in my heart, which needless to say isn’t very easy when you’re a 9-foot-tall blue (male) alien on a planet six lightyears away.
If you finished up that last paragraph and cringed at the sound of Sci-Fi, don’t. I don’t like Sci-Fi movies either, but Avatar brings it in a way that the only thing you can really do is sit back and watch in awe.