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Sure, Avatar is impressive to look at. But…

This isn’t a review, rather a breath of stale air following the deflating experience of Jim Cameron’s blockbuster.

Avatar is successful in being amazingly expansive. You really do feel the size of the alien world Pandora, where Sam Worthington is tasked with infiltrating an alien society of 10-foot blue things, inhabiting one of their bodies in the process, and persuading them to leave their enormous tree-house so that the evil forces of mankind can drill for the precious metal beneath them. It’s a vaguely preachy enviro-angle mixed with a metaphor about native Indians.


But, story-line aside, it’s the “wow!” factor I was expecting that really failed to hit home. The colours and the graphics are wonderful. The computer game feel (somewhere between Final Fantasy and Mass Effect) seems almost intentional. But I was never once awed in a new or groundbreaking way. The 3D generation of movies are far more secure against film piracy (the main reason the studios love it) but they’re just not blowing me off my feet as advertised. This comes as a particular disappointment in the case of Avatar – a film we’ve been hearing about for the best part of a decade. For all this time we’ve been wondering what technical marvels Cameron is dreaming up in his endlessly budgeted lab. The result is a wonderfully detailed sci-fi vision, but not an elevated mode of storytelling.

Personally my “3D moment” happened in 2D when I went to see The Dark Knight in 2D I-Max. This goes way beyond any of my experiences with silly green and red glasses on. You know – the bit at the beginning when we’re flying over Gotham.

Don’t get us wrong, there are amazingly bold pieces of camera-work in Avatar that imagine an alien planet like you’ve never quite seen before.? But knocked off your feet? I’ll wager you won’t be.


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