Avatar (marketed as James Cameron's Avatar possibly to not confuse it with Avatar: The Last Airbender) is a 2009 American epic sci-fi film directed, written, and co-produced by James Cameron. It stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Michelle Rodriguez. The film was premiered on December 10, 2009, in London and was released on the 16th internationally and on the 18 in the US of the same month.
In 2154, A group of humans is on a planet called Pandora, a planet full of beautiful landscapes, and a tribe of blue alien species called the Na'vi. When the expansion of the mining colony suddenly threatens the lives of the tribe, it's up to them and the avatar of disabled Marine soldier Jake Sully to stop them.
Why It Rocks
- The concept of humans in the planet of beautiful landscapes, and a tribe of blue alien species called the Na'vi were very creative and original.
- Ground-breaking special effects and visuals in CGI effects that were very good, unlike anything we've seen before the film was released. Best of all, it led to electronics manufacturers releasing 3D Televisions and caused 3D films to increase in popularity. And most of it still holds up today.
- The characters are quite terrific, especially Zoe Saldana's character, and it has many reasons:
- Jake Sully, a disabled former Marine who becomes part of the Avatar Program after his twin brother is killed. His military background helps the Na'vi warriors relate to him.
- Colonel Miles Quaritch, the head of the mining operation's security detail. Fiercely consistent in his disregard for any life not recognized as human, he has a profound disregard for Pandora's inhabitants that is evident in both his actions and his language.
- Dr. Grace Augustine, an exobiologist and head of the Avatar Program. She is also Sully's mentor and an advocate of peaceful relations with the Na'vi, having set up a school to teach them English
- Trudy Chacón, a combat pilot assigned to support the Avatar Program who is sympathetic to the Na'vi.
- Parker Selfridge, the corporate administrator for the RDA mining operation. While he is at first willing to destroy the Na'vi civilization to preserve the company's bottom line, he is reluctant to authorize the attacks on the Na'vi and taint his image, doing so only after Quaritch persuades him that it is necessary and that the attacks will be humane.
- Dr. Norm Spellman, a xenoanthropologist who studies plant and animal life as part of the Avatar Program. He arrives on Pandora at the same time as Sully and operates an avatar.
- Neytiri, the daughter of the leader of the Omaticaya (the Na'vi clan central to the story). She is attracted to Jake because of his bravery, though frustrated with him for what she sees as his naiveté and stupidity. She serves as Jake's love interest.
- Mo'at, the Omaticaya's spiritual leader, Neytiri's mother, and consort to clan leader Eytukan.
- It launched Zoe Saldana's career along with Star Trek.
- It has an amazing environmental and anti-war message.
- The acting is very excellent, especially for Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang.
- Has amazing scenery on Pandora.
- The soundtrack that was performed by the late James Horner is amazing as always, with a mix of beautiful, dramatic stuff too.
- The extraterrestrial species called the Na'vi of the planet look very cool. In addition, the Na'vi are really clever because they know how to ride on the creatures.
- The action sequences are really interesting and awesome.
- Beautiful, smooth cinematography for 2009, making you like you're in a beautiful full planet of paradise.
- Most people complain that the film has a basic story similar to that from Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
- Some of the CGI elements may end up looking fake.
- The story can be a bit too cliché for it's own good.
Avatar received very positive reviews from critics, and audience alike upon its release, receiving both 82% on critics and audience score rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 316 reviews, with a rating average of 7.43/10. The site's consensus reads, "It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron's singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking." Metacritic scores a film a 83/100 based on 35 critics, indicating "universal acclaim" and a 7.5/10 user score rating on the same site and a 7.8/10 on IMDB.
The movie grossed $2.79 billion worldwide and it became the highest-grossing movie from 2009 as well as the highest-grossing movie of all time, beating the previous highest-grossing movie of all time, Titanic (also directed by James Cameron), but it would later be overtaken by Avengers: Endgame, but would later re-take the spot after an China re-release in 2021.
The movie got nine Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director) and winning three of them (Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction).
Four sequels are confirmed: Avatar 2 in December 2022, with the following three sequels to be released, respectively, in December 2024, December 2026, and December 2028.
- This film was the first to use the final version of the 20th Century Fox logo, which would be used until the studio's rename to 20th Century Studios in January 2020.