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Avatar: a Film that's Outta this World...literally.
"The Sky People have sent us a message: that they can take whatever they want. Well we will send them a message: that this? This is our land!"
What's the story?
Ex-marine Jake Sully arrives on the planet Pandora in the name of science to stand in for his dead twin brother, who had been taking part in something called the Avatar Program. Scientists have created 'remote-controlled bodies' called Avatars, which are made from 50% human DNA and 50% DNA of the natives, and luckily, because Jake has the same DNA as his twin, he is able to finish what his brother started. The idea is to gain the natives' trust and persuade them to move away from their home, which is resting on top of the richest deposit of some special rock called unobtanium that sells for $20m per kilo. To become an avatar, Jake must lie stationary inside a machine which transfers his mind into an avatar body; when the machine is stopped, so is the avatar, and the human can wake up again.
So Jake, disguised as an avatar, is dropped into the jungle, where, following certain events, he is forced to stay the night alone, which is potentially a life-threatening situation for someone who's just moved into their body! He comes across a female native who takes him to her tribe, the Na'Vi. They decide not to kill him but instead to let him learn their ways and see if he passes the test. So he is taught everything about the way they live, how they survive and the secrets of the jungle. Inevitably, Jake falls in love with the female native; this then changes his mind about letting the Americans destroy the Na'Vi's home. However, the Americans discover that Jake is secretly on the Na'Vi's side, bringing action-packed, adrenalin-pumping, heart-string-tugging and on-the-edge-of-your-seat consequences...
So it's a good film then?
Considering this is a 2 and a half hour long film, you'd think that people would start getting restless and fidgeting in their seats. But after managing to finally prise my eyes off the screen for a moment and swivel on my seat in the cinema, I looked at all the faces fixated by the screen and I can tell you those faces said anything but boredom! Some shocked; some anxious; some tense; some excited; some that even said, "Yeah! Go! Shoot the bugger!" - these people were clearly enjoying the film. Full of action, romance, grief & victory, Avatar is a film that has it all and one I would recommend to anyone.
The not so good side
Well, technically speaking, some might argue that the idea of technology being able to transfer a mind into a different body which has been 100% scientifically created, and that the natives of planet Pandora magically knowing how to speak English as well as their own language is frankly ridiculous. And I have to agree. Ok, so maybe the technology will be possible one day, but the latter - the natives being able to speak English - is highly unlikely; languages are hugely varied, influenced and made up of hundreds of other languages, so the likeliness of them speaking English as we speak it is about 1 in 1,000,000. But we have to let the film makers off, because how else would we have understood the film if the Na'Vi had gone and blabbered away in the language Googa?!
What about Avatar in 3D?
Well, I personally opted not to see it in 3D after I heard that one of my friends loved the first part in 3D but not so much the rest as she spent most of it with her head in a pop-corn bucket throwing up! Don't worry, she suffered from motion sickness, but I thought it was worth mentionning if you're like me and do actually get motion sick. There are a few scenes which would either be absolutely amazing or absolutely vomit-provoking, depending on whether you get motion sick or not! But for those of you who opt for the non-3D version, like me: you will not be disappointed!
With fantastic special effects, interesting characters, a fast pace and a well though-through storyline, director James Cameron has created something to be proud of with this award-winning film.