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A Re-evaluation of James Cameron's Avatar

I recently posted a rather gushing review of Jim Cameron's Avatar, but after some discussion with others, I find myself re-evaluating some of what I wrote and acknowledging some of the bias that fed my original comments.  I still think it's a great film, and probably one of the better films of recent years, but realistically I need to downgrade my rating to an 8 out of 10.  There were definitely flaws, but it was such a satisfying treat to my inner sci-fi geek that it was easy to gloss over those initially.

First, as for my sci-fi bias:  I absolutely love it when a writer creates an imaginative new world and invites us to explore it with them, and Avatar definitely delivered on that score.  It was satisfying just like Frank Herbert's book, Dune, was satisfying (along with the Sci-Fi miniseries based on it).  That alone would have been worth a repeat viewing for me. 

As for the story:  It was a good story, but there were a few scenes in particular where the logic didn't follow from the premise set in the rest of the film.  Most of it I can excuse as dramatic devices to keep the action flowing and the story interesting.  My biggest complaint was in the final act, which seems a little too much deus ex machina. It's never that easy, especially against an enemy as desperate for what you have and with the military assets shown in the film.  Fortunately, these troublesome scenes account for a very small amount of screen time, and don't detract that much from the story.



Overall, it's still a great film, which I happily recommend.

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December 2009

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