Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.
When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
When his brother is killed in a robbery, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's intentions of driving off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch, while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand - and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora. Written by
The Massie Twins
Close-up of Jake's feet when he moves them around in the soil; close-up of Col. Quaritch's feet in his first scene; slow-mo focus on the wolf-creature's feet as it circles around Jake's avatar, just before he first meets Neytiri. See more »
Mo'at stabs Jake with the arrow to check his blood. In the next shot, she licks the blood again. See more »
When I was lying in the V.A. hospital with a big hole blown through the middle of my life, I started having these dreams of flying. I was free. But sooner or later, you always have to wake up.
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There are no opening credits of any kind (outside of the 20th Century Fox title card). The title of the film doesn't appear on screen until the end of the movie. See more »
Looks great, I just wish I cared what happened in it
"Avatar" is not the next "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings." It might be the next "Matrix," though. Or, perhaps more accurate, the next "Matrix Revolutions." It's technically groundbreaking craftmanship put to work on a story that was played out after "Return of the King." There are a lot of bad guys, a lot of good guys, and sooner or later they're all gonna meet on the battlefield. The little details are not-so-shockingly unimportant, since nothing could stop, change or even, really, comment on the unstoppable trajectory of this film's story.
It's the future. An Evil Corporation is parked on distant planet Pandora, mining the planet of all its precious minerals. The native population, big blue humanoids called the "Na'vi," aren't too happy about this. The corporation has hired scientists to create avatars of Na'vi bodies to be controlled by human brains, in order to communicate to the Na'vi that...they better move, lest be bulldozed by the evil Col. Qautrich (Stephen Lang).
Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is flown in to Pandora because his twin brother, who had an Avatar made specifically for him, is dead. The coincidence is an obvious plot device so that we can have a newcomer to Pandora to share in our amazement. Oh, and he's paralyzed, so running around in his new alien body is rather freeing for him.
I don't feel as if I need to continue with the plot description. You know what'll happen. You've seen "Dances with Wolves" and "The Last Samurai." Heck, even "Dead Man." The Na'vi represent nature, the (all-American) corporation represents destructive technology. Quatrich has a Southern accent and says things like, "we have to fight terror with terror." The Na'vi are clones of Native Americans - filtered through the imagination of a white liberal. It's all very obvious.
The question, of course, is whether or not it's entertaining. Well...sometimes. It certainly looks good. Some sequences - especially those with the winged beasts - are eye-popping. Lang makes a fun villain. Pandora is more derivative than original, it reminded me most of Skull Island in Peter Jackson's King Kong. All the monsters have a plastic-y look to them that make them feel too well-done. The 3D is distracting at times and I had a headache before the movie was over.
But there are scenes and individual shots that pop with ethereal beauty. It's worth seeing for that reason, but I don't think it'll be as fun after multiple viewings. The great thing about "Star Wars" was the characters: Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and so on. They embodied the other-worldliness of the story, taking the weight off the effects.
In thirty-two years, I don't think anyone will remember "Jake Sully." 6/10
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