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Avatar (2009)

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A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Director:

James Cameron

Writer:

James Cameron
Popularity
231 ( 33)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 87 wins & 128 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Worthington ... Jake Sully
Zoe Saldana ... Neytiri (as Zoë Saldana)
Sigourney Weaver ... Dr. Grace Augustine
Stephen Lang ... Colonel Miles Quaritch
Michelle Rodriguez ... Trudy Chacón
Giovanni Ribisi ... Parker Selfridge
Joel David Moore ... Norm Spellman
CCH Pounder ... Mo'at (as Carol Christine Hilaria Pounder)
Wes Studi ... Eytukan
Laz Alonso ... Tsu'tey
Dileep Rao ... Dr. Max Patel
Matt Gerald ... Corporal Lyle Wainfleet
Sean Anthony Moran ... Private Fike
Jason Whyte Jason Whyte ... Cryo Vault Med Tech
Scott Lawrence ... Venture Star Crew Chief
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Enter the World See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$237,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£8,509,050 (United Kingdom), 20 December 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$77,025,481, 20 December 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$760,507,625

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,787,965,087, 13 February 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition) | (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | DTS | SDDS | Sonics-DDP (IMAX version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original ending Neytiri was going to be pregnant with Jake's child. See more »

Goofs

Jake is being reborn/transferred into his permanent Na'Vi avatar body. His human body can be seen with no oxygen mask over his face. Since it takes quite sometime for Eywa to transfer souls he would have died from lack of oxygen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jake Sully: [Narrating] 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The initial end credits soar over the world of Pandora. See more »

Alternate Versions

Released to commemorate the 2010 Earth Day, the 171-minute Special edition includes the following additional scenes:
  • The first flight across Pandora is longer, with the helicopter flying past the Stuurmbeast herd. Grace informs Norm and Jake about it.
  • The squad reaches the abandoned school. It reveals that Grace teaches English to the Na'vi children until a serious incident came about (bullet holes around, etc..) which was insinuated about.
  • Jake and Neytiri running through the neon-lit woods is slightly longer.
  • When Jake joins the circle, a little Na'vi girl smiles at him curiously, but her father holds her back. Neytiri then arrives and hands Jake a fruit.
  • Jake tries to ask Neytiri her name, but she seems annoyed by that.
  • Jake, Grace and Norm proceed from the helicopter to the secluded laboratory. There's an explanation about the mountains.
  • At night, Jake and Neytiri run through the luminescent forest.
  • After Jake touches the Fan Lizard, it flies away in a radiant glow. Its fellow species follow suit and, to the delight of Jake and Neytiri, raise themselves into the air.
  • As Jake and the other Na'vi climb the mountain, Neytiri flies past them on her banshee, Seze.
  • The Na'vi goes for an aerial hunt for Stuurmbeast. Jake shoots one and exclaims in excitement. Neytiri follow suit as well.
  • The Na'vi destroy the Hell Trucks of the mining company.
  • The next morning, Wainfleet's squad sifts through the remains of the Hell Trucks. Turns out that Na'vi kill the soldiers as well. Quaritch and Selfridge watch the live broadcast.
  • Tsu'tey's fall from the sky is longer. A few plants decelerate and break his fall.
  • The scene with the Hammerhead Titanotheres has been extended.
  • The fight between Neytiri on a Thanathor and Quaritch is slightly longer.
  • Tsu'Tey's death: he knows he is dying and appoints Jake to be his successor. He insists Jake to kill him because by Na'vi customs, Jake has to pass him to the Eywa by killing him by his own hands. Neytiri starts to cry. Jake reluctantly complies with his wish, stabbing him by the knife as the camera passes by him.
  • The end credits has an addition of using Discovery Zone's Bless the Plague soundtrack. The copyright year has been replaced with 2010.
See more »

Connections

Featured in $ellebrity (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

I See You (Theme from Avatar)
Performed by Leona Lewis
Music by James Horner and Simon Franglen
Lyrics by Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell, and James Horner
Produced by Simon Franglen and James Horner
Leona Lewis performs courtesy of Syco Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Technically impressive and important but beyond that there is not a huge amount to talk about
1 March 2010 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Although I was not too bothered about seeing Avatar as a film, I felt it was a bit foolish to let this milestone of cinema go past me – particularly when the thing it is hyped for are the effects and being the first "big" film to utilise 3D technology to this degree. It just seemed that watching it on my TV in about 9 months on DVD with a basic stereo system would be missing the point. Unsurprisingly I was right because Avatar is technically a brilliant film that deserves to sweep the Oscars in terms of awards for visual effects and other such categories.

If we ignore the 3D for a minute, the actual effects look great and I imagine that it will still be impressive in 2D. The landscapes and world of Pandora are imaginative (ironic since how dumb the name of it is) and very vividly created to the point where you forget that they are effects when you step back from them. Likewise it is so easy to forget that the Na'vi are not actors in quite brilliant outfits and makeup because they look so real and move so naturally – it is a million miles from the films such as Spiderman or Indy 4 where you can see where the real person ends and the jumping/swinging special effect begin. There were points in the film where I found myself wondering how on earth they managed to get a particular shot and where the camera was, only for my brain to kick in a second later to remind me that what I'm seeing is entirely virtual. OK the fantastical visual aspects are clearly creations but I was startled by how accepting of it all was and, in 2D I thought that the effects were pretty seamless.

In 3D it doesn't quite hit the same mark for me. The "look it's in 3D" shots are not as obvious as some of the other films (where stuff comes out of the screen for no reason) but it is still a little distracting when the 3D forces your focus or has stuff where it doesn't aid the scene. Of course the world of Pandora looks great with things moving around in front of you and the final battle sequences are great – the money is all there to be seen. Thing is, the reason I was able to think about "how did they do that shot" while watching the film is because the technical aspects of the film is really all there is to engage with. The plot is basic and obvious – others have talked at length about the rights and wrongs of a story where the white man comes to the aid of the indigenous people, so I'll not add to that debate. The problem for me is simpler than that, it is simply that the plot is weak and the script is just as weak. My girlfriend laughed out loud when the name of the mineral on Pandora was named as "Unobtainium" and there were plenty of things like this. The dialogue between the characters is full of needless plot exposition and thus doesn't ring true. Of course all this is helped by the action and the effects but the narrative and writing weaknesses are all I can think of when I have to listen to people tell me how Avatar is the best film ever.

The cast manage to do solid jobs considering how easy it is for them to get lost in the effects (see the modern Star Wars films to see this happen). Worthington is stuck with some awful dialogue but he is a good presence even in his Avatar. Saldana's performance is good, again despite some of her expressions and dialogue. Weaver is "so-so", Moore is pointless, Ribisi is miscast in a character that is so clichéd that it needed a decent casting to make it be more than it was. I liked Lang a lot and his OTT badass character worked well. Rodriguez seems like she is there because someone important likes her and her character doesn't add a terrible lot. Voice work from Studi, Pounder and others is good.

Overall Avatar deserves to be seen for its technical importance and how impressive it is but the degree of praise for it needs to be put in context by considering how it plays as more than just a special effects milestone. In these terms it is not as good due to a poor plot and script that hurts the actors more than the effects do by handing them some awful dialogue. That it works is testament to how impressive the effects are but there is not a terrible lot to gush about beyond these.


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