"Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world and in here is the dream."It's the year 2054 and American scientists and military personnel are on a mission to collect a valuable mineral named "unobtanium," which is said to make millions back on earth from a planet named Pandora, home to the Na'vi--the native alien-like residents of the forest-like region who are one with nature. The only thing is, the scientists have to virtually destroy the world they live in order to dig up the unobtainable unobtainium, which means there may be casualties. Before that, they must send a few American soldiers there who can infiltrate as one of their own by scientific morphosis to learn any information they may have about the substance. One of those soldiers is Jake Sully, the paraplegic ex-marine whose brother was killed in battle. While in Pandora as his own avatar, he gets to really learn about the Na'vi and is protected by one Na'vi in particular--Neytiri, with whom he falls in love. After learning about the tribe, he feels indebted to them as a member of their family. That's when the young ex-marine's native mission drastically changes.
The movie runs a bit long at times, and really could have been cut down to two hours, but for the sake of the special effects and inevitable James Cameron-like love story, probably not. It was entertaining and moved along fairly swiftly, but in no means is it my favorite movie of 2009 as it has become to others. The story was better than I thought, though it did often draw similarities to both Pocahontas and many other instances when men killed to take over and destroy people in a land they saw value in. The acting was just okay, though Zoe Saldana's Neytiri portrayal is a standout. Overall, Avatar was really about the jaw-dropping visual effects--that's the great thing about it.
Reel Talk rating: B