There was lot of hype about Avatar this year but the early reviews published by some critics were lukewarm about James Cameron's long awaited 3D foray. There were reviews which suggested that it had a poor story line, that the dialogue was weak and that it was too "preachy" and "tree huggy".
Well it may or may not have some of these faults but after seeing Avatar in 3D today I can tell you one thing that Avatar certainly is - spectacular! If this is a taste of the direction that blockbusters are going then all I can say is bring it on - the sooner the better.
The story ( No spoilers here!) is a fairly basic one and it is true that there is no great depth for many of the characters. But it seems to me that those critics who have been lukewarm about Avatar have missed the point. This is a family adventure story par excellence and doesn't need complex characters or a complex storyline. It has a love story at it's core but it's stuffed full , like grandpa after Xmas lunch, of spectacular action scenes which are awesome visually.
One critic likened it to a Pocanhontas type story and I think that may be true. But that is not a criticism in my view. It's like criticising Raiders of the Lost Ark for lack of literary merit. It's a family blockbuster and if that is what you go expecting you will certainly not be disappointed.
People don't go to see films like this for their great artistic depth - they go to see a spectacular blockbusting adventure story that makes them care about the characters. Cameron delivers this in spades.
One critic said that it was "hard to empathise with blue people" but I wholly disagree. By the end of this film you will be empathising with the tall blue heroes as they fight to save their world from the destructive rampages of the "Company" and it's hired military force. If you aren't able to empathise with these blue people then you have no soul. If it doesn't make you think about how our use of the earths resources sometimes imposes a terrible cost on indigenous peoples then you have no conscience.
The indigenous blue people and the life-forms of the Planet Pandora where the action takes place are wonderfully rendered - with both realism and an almost fairy quality.
Like many fantasy type blockbusters, enjoying this film requires you to be able to suspend your disbelief for an hour or two. You have to be willing to allow yourself to be immersed in a strange but compelling new world.
This film is a real experience and NOT one that you should just wait to see on DVD. Go see this film!