“Avatar” tells a story that has been told before, it is basically “Dances with Wolves” in space. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is asked to go deep into space to the planet Pandora to do a job his twin brother was supposed to do. His twin brother died shortly before he was set to go to this planet. Since Jake is his twin, he has similar genetics to his brother, he needs this so he can do the job (will explain more on this soon). Jake decides to take the job. This megacorrproation is looking to mine this planet for a valued ore. Unfortunately the biggest deposit lies underneath the home of the Navi, a ten foot tall blue skinned native tribe who has been at the brink of war with the company. The company devolved Navi bodies that humans can use. Jake’s job is to gain is to gain the natives truest. But he starts to wonder if he is on the right side.
This is Sam Worthington’s best performance to date. With that being said, it’s still not a fantastic performance. He is good, but his performance is bland, he doesn’t try to take his acting to a new level. You could say the same thing for Stephen Lang. He plays the villain, so I wanted him to really step up his acting, but he never did. Sigourney Weaver gives one of the best performances in the whole movie. The only problem is she isn’t in the movie for that long, so she doesn’t have that much screen time. The other great performance comes from Zoe Saldana, she is doing the motion capture the whole time, and she nails it. Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, and Joel David Moore do fine in their roles as well.
What hinders “Avatar” in almost every aspect of the movie is the script. The script is poorly written. It’s not gut wrenching bad, but it’s pretty much mediocre dialog for the entire movie. The actors suffer from this because however good the actor, it’s hard to make cheesy dialog come out good. The way they explain all the connections that the Navi have with the forest is all cliched, as is mostly everything here. The script is a bunch of already used material. I wish James Cameron had gotten someone else to write the script other than himself, he just isn’t the best writer. With an epic like this, it would have helped to have better dialog than it has.
Now I said James Cameron wasn’t a good writer, but he is a good director (not an outstanding director, but a good one none the less). He directs the movie very well, he knows how long to linger on shots to show off the outstanding special effects, but he never lingers to long. He also knows how to handle everything else in general. Still, the direction is not perfect, there are some minor things here and there that could and should have been tweaked.
Of course the best thing in this movie by far is the special effects. They are truly amazing. There is always something going on visually, every time you see something neat, you get to see something neat after it. You can never take your eyes away from the screen when their in the jungle. The jungle is a living breathing world, it’s alive. It’s filled with cool looking creatures, fascinating plant life, and more. The avatars even look like the people, especially Sigourney Weaver’s; hers really does look like her in Navi form. James Cameron said this movie would change the way we watched movies with his 3D. While he doesn’t quite do that. He still manages to offer the best 3D ever. Even though the 3D is good, I would rather watch it in 2D. I feel you get better visuals with the 2D, plus you don’t have to pay extra. Like I said, it looks fantastic; it is eye candy at its very best.
All in all “Avatar” is a good movie, but it could have been much better. Bland acting and a weakly written script stop the movie from reaching greatness. When you think about it though, “Avatar” is all about the visuals. Everything else is a side note to the bigger picture of it all. The movie knows this too. James Cameron had thought of this movie a long time ago, but he knew the special effects could not have been done right back then. So he put it on hold for a while until the special effects were up to speed with his vision. Like I said the special effects are excellent, they drive this movie. If the visuals weren’t as good as they are, the movie would have paid dearly for it. James Cameron has made another one of his epics. While he still hasn’t made a great movie, he still makes his good and entertaining for the most part. I just hope for his next one, he hires a screenwriter.