Trailer Breakdown: Avatar

Our take on James Cameron's game-changer...


So, the Avatar trailer has finally arrived. You can see it here.

The hype machine has been so hypnotising, we were genuinely expecting our eyeballs to melt down our faces in a big mess of gloopy gawp glee.

But our excitement levels have been officially checked. Avatar doesn't seem to be the next evolution in cinema we were hoping for.

But it does look like a none-more-epic thrill-flick. Here’s our first take on the different aspects of the trailer...


The Military

Is it just us or do the running grunts look like they enlisted in the same army who once fought the Xenomorphs?

Still, there are some ace shots of soldiers leaning out of choppers blasting aliens with what looks like chain guns.

If it was good enough for Predator, it’s good enough for Avatar.



The Aliens

Despite early hype/reports, Cameron hasn’t completely defeated the uncanny valley effect, with certain sequences looking distinctly videogamey.

If we didn't know better, we'd think it was a Final Fantasy sequel.

But there are still moments that make us do slight double-takes, particularly when Worthington’s Avatar is running through the jungle...

We're hoping the 3D will add a sheen of realism to proceedings. And those Avatar feet are just awesome.





The Tech

Cameron’s military fetish is present and correct. But, again, we’re reminded of other movies when we were hoping for something truly new and mind-blowing.

Those robotic mecha-suits look a lot like the robotic mecha-suits from The Matrix Reloaded, which is never a good thing.

But we’re sure once all those dragons and helicopters are having a massive scrap in the sky, we’ll be too giddy to notice details like that.

Also, we really like the 2001-style bit where all the colours are flashing.

We assume that's when Jake Sulley's consciousness is floating into his Avatar. Trippy - and lovely.



The Creatures

We knew that Cameron’s alien terrain would be populated by weird creatures, but we didn’t expect them to look like cast-offs from The Phantom Menace.

Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh – we love the Venus Flytrap thing that whips the soldier out of the helicopter spaceship.




The Alien World

The planet landscape is, as expected, a massive jungle.

Combined with the presence of pointy-eared inhabitants, it - unfortunately - reminds us of Ferngully: The Last Rainforest.

But - staypositive, staypositive... - we can’t wait to slip on those 3D glasses and fight the instinct to push branches out of our faces.



    • AYBGerrardo

      Aug 20th 2009, 16:49

      "Those robotic mecha-suits look a lot like the robotic mecha-suits from The Matrix Reloaded, which is never a good thing." I thought they in turn were inspired by Cameron's Aliens, so maybe it's not such a bad thing.

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    • MrMiyagi

      Aug 20th 2009, 17:38

      "In land of blind, one eyed man is king. But 2 eyes needed for Avatar in 3D"

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    • monodogg

      Aug 21st 2009, 9:27

      it looks like a cross between Aliens and the Abyss, should be good, even better in 3d if only both my eyes worked properly

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    • Buried At Sea

      Aug 21st 2009, 13:53

      it seems TF that you're just as unimpressed as everyone else but are trying to stay true thinking the 3d will make that much difference. it's ok to bash cameron :)

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    • ebyandsmartie

      Aug 21st 2009, 16:40

      Those scenes are, at best the last 20mins of the movie which, going by the footage I saw today, is mostly a family friendly 90% CGI over the top load of old tosh. It could have been Halo Vs Gears of War the movies, but its 'Ferngully' meets 'Delgo' with lots of 'Battle for Terra' with a of 'Ant Bully' thrown in. They all follow the same thing, our Hero goes native and learns we the humans are the bad guys.... Even a film like 'Solider' looks better after seeing the 20mins of Avatar. THe special effects are no better than any other 3D movie you will see at a IMAX screen and the dialogue stinks, I mean really stinks. They showed us what they thought would impress us! Sam Worthington's character Jake Sully is terrible, I mean so terrible it hurts. The lines he comes up with are so old hat it makes you think James Cameron doesn't have a clue, but this is the man who wrote 'Aliens' which has you believing you are listening to real marines talking! All I can think is all that diving, while obsessing over the Titanic, has given him the bends!

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    • chotles

      Aug 22nd 2009, 15:27

      Even if the movie doesn't turn out to be amazing (which realistically, I never thought it would be) it is still a game changing moment in the history of cinema. I will go see this just for the new tech that they have developed. I was never expecting to be blown away by the story (this is the same guy behind Titanic after all) but I am still impressed with the visuals. Even if some moments do look like cut scenes from a PS3 game, it's probably just because I am used to an environment being enhanced with CGI rather than being basically made of it, it is still much more impressive than CGI in many recent/upcoming cinema releases. If we hadn't been subjected to such over-blown hype then I don't think people would be bashing it the way they are. Avatar was never going to be "the greatest movie of all time", it will be similar to the Abyss; stunning effects for the time, but not much beyond that. To be honest I think Cameron should change careers, stop making over-rated movies and just stick to developing new technologies to assist film-makers with talent like Spielberg and Jackson.

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