Avatar

James Cameron’s is one of the most visually stunning and technologically advanced movies to be released to date. It’s difficult to criticize anything about the computer-generated portions of the film because they’re really unparalleled. Unfortunately, everything else about the movie is either forgettable or just awful.

The story of is set on a wild, alien planet called Pandora that is home to countless dangerous creatures. However, Pandora is also home to the peaceful Na’vi, a group of tall, spiritual, blue-skinned natives who can “speak” to the jungle by linking their minds with the mind of the spiritual being, Ai’wa. It all sounds very weird on paper, but the movie explains this in a way that makes it seem at least somewhat logical.

The Na’vi see the jungle on Pandora as a sacred place, and they treasure every living thing on the planet. They also treat hunting as a sacred thing, and they kill animals only out of necessity. It’s easy enough to see some very obvious similarities between the Na’vi and Native Americans.

Truthfully, the plot of is actually somewhat enjoyable, but the story is so forgettable because countless other movies have used the same story. It’s no big secret that the plot of Cameron’s film is heavily influenced by Kevin Costner’s 1990 film, .

At the beginning of the movie, a paraplegic ex-marine by the name of Jake Sully arrives on Pandora for a new mission. He has been ordered to take the place of his twin brother in the Avatar program after his twin brother dies for some unknown reason. The Avatar program is an attempt at diplomacy between the Na’vi and the human race. In the program, scientists use special technology to control their specific avatar. Because these avatars look exactly like the Na’vi, the scientists are able to fit in with the natives.

Jake Sully’s job is to gather intel about the Na’vi while gaining their trust. Ultimately, Parker Selfridge, the head of the mining company that brought him to Pandora, wants to gain enough information from the Na’vi to know where to find a very large deposit of unobtainium.

At first, Sully plans to carry out his mission, but he quickly realizes that what he is doing is very wrong. When Sully finally comes to this realization, the movie gets significantly better. Even though the special effects of the film are extremely beautiful and entertaining, the plot tends to be quite forgettable and over-powered by the visuals. If the story was able to keep pace with the visual effects, the film would not feel as though it was lacking. Once you get past the visual drama, the real-human acting was fine but the acting in the animated portions of the movie is overall just poor. Sam Worthington, who plays Jake Sully, was one of the best actors in the movie, and Giovanni Ribisi did a fine job of playing the movie’s villain, Parker Selfridge.

Sigourney Weaver did an okay job of playing the tree-hugging scientist, but her performance was still nothing spectacular.

The acting during the computer-generated portions was much worse than the real acting. At times, the computer-generated Na’vi seemed awkward, and the emotions of the Na’vi seemed forced as well. As realistic as the Na’vi look, there is still something missing, and it makes them seem less real. However, the visuals of the movie are certainly Oscar-worthy.

With all of that said, the movie is still worth seeing. There’s a reason why everyone seemed to like it. If possible, don’t see it in 3D because it really takes away from the visual aspect of the movie, which happens to be the best part. The 3D glasses tend to distort the edges of the picture and force you to focus on action rather than details, and the colors are more vivid in the normal version.

If you generally don’t care about the originality of the story or the quality of the acting, then expect to love this movie as much as everyone else. However, if you do care about those things, then expect to be fairly disappointed with the movie as a whole.