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Believe The Hype - Avatar Rocks! Khazmin Juma'in
Friday, 18th December 2009 @ 19:32:06 PM
As an entertainment writer, I’m constantly deluged with notices about “The Next Big Thing!”, “A Legend In The Making!” or “You Can’t Afford To Miss This!” types of spiel. Be it a band, a movie or a new game, I’ve had more than my fair share of enthusiastic PR spiels.
I watched Avatar (by James Cameron) on Tuesday evening, courtesy of Star Movies. There’d been a lot of hype about this show prior to its release but I hadn’t bothered to pay attention to them much. Frankly, I’ve been to quite a few screenings that sounded better on paper than in person so I went to The Cathay with little expectation about the movie (except thinking it seemed a lot like A Bug’s Life). Boy, was I wrong!
By now, you’ve read the reviews and I’m sure you’ve had a friend or two who have caught it and gushed about the awesomeness of Cameron’s masterpiece. I can assure you the buzz is warranted.
The premise is Jake Sully, an ex-Marine, ends up on the distant world of Pandora thanks to some corporate-military organisation. Originally recruited to take over his late brother’s role as a researcher, Sully soon learns of the company’s plan to mine Pandora of the valuable mineral, unobtainium, which is abundant in their woodlands.
What stands in their way are the natives of the planet including sinister jungle creatures and the sentient humanoid race, the Na’vi. The latter are giant, blue master warrior intent on defending their world from the greed of mankind.
Sully and the research team can only study the natives by projecting their minds into an Avatar body, a genetically-bred human-Na’vi hybrid. By now, Sully is also spying for the military unit who wants him to find out their enemy’s weaknesses. But he soon finds himself falling for Neytiri, the tribe’s princess. What will it be in the end?
At first glance, it all seems rather predictable but even so, I was gripped to my seat for the entire 160 or 170 minutes! Avatar is epic but what else can you expect from the man who brought us Titanic, Aliens and Terminator? Sure, some of you may snipe at the lack of character development or an all-too familiar storyline but why so serious? The classic colonisation theme and conquistador-falls-in-love-with-native has been done to death but Cameron pulled it off without being mushy or sweet. the generous explosion and grand fight sequences balanced everything off. It was good entertainment overall.
Will this set a new benchmark in movies? Probably. The gorgeous 3D wizardry melded real-life action and CGI animation seamlessly! The animals looked so realistic you’d swear you could count the scales on their bodies. They did a great job in creating the lush environment of Pandora as well, from the tiny insects to the trippy fluorescent flora. Too bad I didn’t watch it in 3D – I’m sure the film would have looked more impressive. Any other sci-fi/fantasy film coming up next better step up!
14 years is a long time to create a masterpiece but in this instance, it has been worth the wait. I can't wait for the sequels to be released but in the meantime, I've got Avatar the Game to play on my Xbox 360!