Reviewed by Alicia Glass
After discovering a very profitable mineral on a planet dubbed Pandora, a corrupt businessman and crazed General take on the indigenous people known as the Na’avi.
So, I finally saw it. That is a very brief description and doesn’t even go into why the title of the movie is Avatar. So, let’s see. This extremely valuable mineral was found on Pandora, and of course the Earthlings want it. First they tried diplomacy, in the form of infiltration. That is, they grew Na’avi-style bodies from human DNA, and these bodies are controlled by humans in separate deprivation chambers, and they tried to use these Avatars to teach the Na’avi English and convince them to move. Lead in Jake Sully, Jarhead and proud of it, who shares an interesting trait with his dead twin that was supposed to be on this mission – the ability to fuse with Avatar bodies easier somehow. So Jake gets an Avatar, is informed by the General to gather intel on what will obviously end up a war, and three months to go native and learn the Na’avi ways. And boy howdy, does he. Jake ends up deciding, after becoming a Warrior in the Na’avi society and taking a mate, that he can’t sit by and let the natives be slaughtered for the love of money or war. Cue the huge battle to end all battles, for the sacred defense of the homeland or what’s left of it. And the ending, while wonderful and everything, is a little predictable.
Most of the movie can actually be very easily equated to the Indian (feather, as opposed to dot) struggle against the encroaching white man. See the huge crushing machines coming to destroy the sacred Na’avi forests, it looks an awful lot like the railroad being laid right through Indian territory. The Na’avi Warriors have a sacred bond with their flying mounts, much like the Indians did with horses. It is odd and weirdly wonderful, though, to watch creatures that look to me like bright blue tiger and human half breeds, running around in strange forests that look to me like underwater plants, floating mountains, and talking trees.
Zoe Saldana brings across a command performance as Neytiri, the Na’avi love interest of Jake, warrior and spirit of the land. Sam Worthington, of Terminator Salvation fame, stars as the torn to both sides Jake Sully, and gives a fantastic performance as both the paraplegic marine and feral Avatar. Michelle Rodrigeuz shines forth as Trudy Chacon, marine and pilot who just, what the hell, decides to go native with the rest of them. And Sigourney Weaver, who stars as Dr. Grace Augustine, fellow native and scientist with Jake, delivers blunt sarcasm and biting wit in the same breath. All in all, a dazzling experience, and not one to miss.
I don’t care what kind of TV you have, if you missed seeing this visual masterpiece in theaters, I weep for you.