just to put this review into some context…i walked out of the first star wars..(and have avoided the rest..)
i am bored rigid by fantasy-tales..
(with the exception of the gormenghast trilogy by mervyn peake..which towers over the overwrought cross-country hike that is that rings thing..)
and i have managed to avoid ‘titanic’..
so..my expectations weren’t that high..when the boy and i hived off to see avatar..
and that is just as well..’cos the plot is a somewhat cliched good-guys/bad guys morality eco-tale..
..nuance/subtlety is nowhere to be seen..
(and i won’t give further plot details..there is little enough for you to discover..)
and ‘discover’ you should..
my recommendation is to put the brain into neutral…forget about the/any plot..and just enjoy the ride..
and it really is a ‘ride’..
and the overwhelming success of this film..is that you submerge/believe in the alien world/characters cameron/weta have created..
and tho’ plot-turns/ending..as they are..are all telegraphed very early on..it still holds you there..
(nz’ers/visitors who have experienced the prehistoric forests in the catlins (sth island)..will find this alien world less alien than those who have not..
..and tho’ loaded with exotica..there is a certain familiarity to this alien world..for those fortunate enough to have catlined..)
and the characters..?
oh..!..y’know..!..the usual..!..marine vet with attitude..grumpy lady scientist with heart of gold..betrothed princess who falls for vet with attitude..venal capitalist..etc etc..
and my pick of the character de excellence from this flick..is the carpet-chewing military-dude..
..who is channeling the robert duvall character from apocolypse now..(one of the films avatar is a homage to..)
this is not a ‘funny’ film..but i did burst out laughing when said carpet-chewer burst into flame..but still charged in/on..
..( it had so many echoes of the armless-knight from monty python..)
it’s a hundred and sixty minutes long..but it dosen’t drag..cameron/weta just keep throwing all this stuff at you..
..and you are pummelled into submission/continued-attention..
at the end of it..i turned to the boy..and said ‘wow..!’..
..and had little else to say..
and despite the lumpen/cliched plot cardboard-characters i would recommend that just about everyone..of all ages..go and see it..
(my second out-loud-laugh of the exercise..
..was the stunned-mullet expressions on the faces of the three old ladies who were sitting two rows back from us..
this was obviously a movie experience that was new for them..and one that had obviously ‘moved’ them..)