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Avatar

James Cameron’s latest sci-fi action film, Avatar is basically what you expect from the outset. An action filled spectacle with big expensive special effects. The story is of Jake Sully, a marine who’s been paralysed from the waist down. He’s signed up for a mission on Pandora to take the place of his dead twin brother, who was a scientist whose DNA has been used to create an Avatar which is a remotely controlled, artificially created body using human DNA and the DNA of the Na’vi, the indigenous tribal people of Pandora, so they’re free to explore the world without need for special equipment.

Once there he becomes the protector of the scientists while collecting data, and when he ends up separated from the group and attacked by the local wildlife a Na’vi woman comes to his rescue and leads him to her tribal leaders. As the story goes on he is allowed in to their tribe to learn their ways and becomes the inside man for the corporation who are running the whole thing, who are there to mine Unobtainium, a rare mineral which is worth millions back on Earth.

I haven’t been too excited to see Avatar, the trailers have been nothing special, there’s been limited information on the actual plot of the film, and it’s been sold as the next evolution in cinema, or something like that. And I have to say it really doesn’t live up to that hype. But it is a very enjoyable film, and even at 2 hours 40 minutes it doesn’t seem overly long.

I must admit it is some of the best use of 3D I’ve seen, and some of the CG effects are fantastic. The water looks very realistic, there are some beautiful scenery and the CGI Characters are some of the best realised I’ve ever seen.

That said some of the effects could pass for cutscenes from a Halo or Gears of War type game, and some scenes with live action and CG melded together become distracting because it just looks wrong some how.

When it comes to the writing, well the plot is familiar and pretty predictable, and if you’ve seen a trailer you know it already, so that’s fairly by the numbers, as is the villain of the piece. There’s some decent if unremarkable acting, and some of the dialogue isn’t brilliant although it’s never jarring enough to take you out of the film.

Definitely worth seeing, in fact I may see it again, but it’s certainly nothing revolutionary.

Available from: Amazon • Play.com • Amazon US

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Reviewed by Kevin on 31 January 2011

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