Reviews

Avatar

5

James Cameron presents... The Future

Avatar review

First, let’s be clear… Avatar is much more than a film. It’s a prescribed cinematic experience. Pure effect. The greatest sideshow on Earth.

Cameron's aim is to take our franchise-frazzled minds and plug us back in to the mainline; to conjur the wonder of those early silent-movie audiences, aghast and alarmed as a steam-train chugged from horizon to foreground.

Like Avatar's hero, injured marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), he wants to blast away the past and see through new eyes.

Avatar is the new benchmark for escapist entertainment; the ultimate on-screen dream. More suspension of self than suspension of disbelief.

As Jake dives in and out of his split human/alien personalities, Cameron is equally urging us to leave our burdened minds and busy bodies behind - to sink into our seats and immerse in a virtual world.

In the febrile jungle of planet Pandora, it's a thrillingly alive world of whooping devil-monkeys, scuttling super-spiders, fluttering titan-orchids and bioluminescent air-jellyfish.

The ground is patrolled by hammerheaded, Triceratops-like behemoths and saber-toothed jaguar-giants, while immense, lizard-headed mega-birds rule the air.

But Cameron keeps us connected by not pushing the otherness into hokey, adolescent alien-sketch territory. This isn't an open-air version of the Star Wars cantina: weird for weird's sake.

It feels equally distant and familiar. Like an advanced version of our own world; as if Cameron has run the whole of the current ecosystem through some kind of evolution extrapolation software.

And into this wild and wonderful arena… Enter Avatar Jake, a hybrid of human and Na'vi - the blue-skinned, golden-eyed, oversized indigenous people.

"A marine in an Avatar body", snarls Stephen Lang's feral colonel. "That's a potent combination…"

Avatar review

Jake's mission: to blend with the locals and convince them to "relocate" - away from an area rich in precious/lucrative rock deposits. To go native…

Instead, he goes rogue - after being trusted and trained by Zoe Saldana's fiery Neytiri. Like Human Jake, she's a warrior, and the two bond over a spectacular battle/ambush that humbles him and ennobles her.

For Jake, it's love at first flight. As the two soar and scamper through the shimmering treetops, he revels in swapping his broken real-world form for a faster, stronger, more athletic vessel.

But, this being Cameron, there's forbidden love. Not love struggling to reach across time (Terminator) or class (Titanic), but something far more strange and affecting: interdimensional love.

Next: Avatar review conclusion[page-break]

Avatar review

In fumbling hands, this could have badly misfired - strange and silly instead of curious and moving.

But, unlike his last film, Cameron doesn't over-season the sentiment. He drills straight through to the emotional core: his leading man's wrenching inner-space odyssey - from interloper to insider to outcast.

But the success of the human/Na'vi love-story thread is mostly down to Saldana. Her subtle, spiky performance is a delicious foil to Worthington's wide-eyed neophyte.

She might have played it haughty and aloof - and annoying. Instead, she makes Neytiri untameable and irresistible, brimming with spirit and soul - and making her, and the other CG characters, feel more weighted and real.

So, yes, some of the CG is a bit floaty and videogamey. But, blended with the extraordinary, retina-frying 3D design, it soon becomes the work of a joyless cynic to spot the joins.

Cameron has taken the techniques of 3D film above and beyond the standard jabbing and jutting gimmickery. Every frame is dripping with sumptuous foreground detail - swirling ambient debris, needle-sharp textural subtleties, multi-layered character nuances…

It's a motion picture where everything seems to move. And it's utterly captivating. A glistening banquet for the senses.

This isn't Cameron simply taking existing technology and tweaking the application to his standard.

This is the work of a master film-maker owning and reclaiming the entire concept of 3D; pushing and challenging other film-makers to keep up.

Avatar review

But it's also a long way from just some sterile technical exercise. Avatar sees Cameron revisit his favourite trick: using hardware to unearth humanity.

He carves out the most ambitious screen backdrop ever conceived, then uses it as a staging ground for riffs on military morality, environmental anguish, science versus nature, spirituality versus pragmatism…

And, in his hero's story, he presents a grand illusion - offering what seems to be a theme of internal conflict and physical reawakening before unleashing a final sucker-punch reveal that's unexpected, devastating, moving and instantly iconic…

Oh, yeah… And there's action, too: sinew-straining, jaw-snapping beast battles; rampaging fist-fights; arcing arrow attacks; whirring gunships peppering the canopy with incendiary fire; lumbering battle-mechs pummelling the life out of Pandora with synthetic death.

All - remember - in 3D…

So, let's be clear… Avatar is much more than a film.

It's an audacious, awe-inspiring work of modern art that reinvents and redesigns the whole process of sitting in a darkened room staring up at a screen.

Sure, it's taken him ten years, but Cameron has achieved no less than a rebirth of cinema.

Jackson, Spielberg, Fincher, PTA, Del Toro… Over to you...

Verdict:

Game-changing - yes. Spectacular - absolutely. Occasional dodgy dialogue and dramatic imperfections - of course. But still - wait for it… - a titanic achievement.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • GrandpaSeth

      Dec 11th 2009, 11:29

      It genuinely looks incredible

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    • Antony10110

      Dec 11th 2009, 12:37

      Have you broken the review embargo? Tut tut

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    • Dortmunder70

      Dec 11th 2009, 12:55

      The Guardian has gone the other way and given it a 2 star rating, i'm really intigued now.

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    • BennettsVest

      Dec 11th 2009, 13:15

      I'll watch it just to check out Neytiri's necklace which appears to have 't**t' written on it...

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    • scabo33

      Dec 11th 2009, 14:37

      I wud trust Andy lowe.. I wud like to hear jamies opinion though... :)

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    • rossc007

      Dec 11th 2009, 16:11

      "To go native… Instead, he goes rogue - " No, he just goes native :) http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofEnglish/imperial/key-concepts/Going-native.htm

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    • Hadouken76

      Dec 11th 2009, 16:52

      The Guardian only likes films that feature french people talking quietly for three hours, cinema is suppose to transport the viewer, i cant wait to see it in 3-D

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    • finchy9

      Dec 11th 2009, 17:17

      BennettsVest - good spot! :D

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    • murta101

      Dec 11th 2009, 17:34

      it seems i'm not the only guy to spot that neytiri's necklace says t**t. dunno what that's about but should be well worth finding out. also, f**k the guardian ;)

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    • MadMatt

      Dec 11th 2009, 21:21

      Hadouken76 - LOL. Well said, well said. Great review, TF, by the way. Along with Variety, Screen International and The Hollywood Reporter fawning over the flick it looks like Cameron has stuck two fingers up to the naysayers. Good for him. But why does this review feel the need to take a pop at the Cantina scene in Star Wars? I seem to recall an unflattering comparison made when praising the Troll Market sequence in Hellboy II as well (although that may have been Empire)... Brush aside the jaded cyncism brought on by the intervening years (and prequels) and remember the way sci-fi films depicted alien races prior to 1977. At the time, the Cantina sequence was revolutionary.

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    • Garvan

      Dec 12th 2009, 4:38

      Ten quid says it flops.

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    • alexnank

      Dec 12th 2009, 12:29

      3d film really doesn't do it for me-just not worth the extra expense. i never trust anyt reviews, after all the reviewer, for whomever they write, is likely to have a different viewpoint on films than me. i'll wait and see but it better be more thann just nice graphics

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    • alexnank

      Dec 12th 2009, 12:34

      oh and total film were always going to give it 5 stars considering the hype they have given it for over a year now

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    • MadMatt

      Dec 12th 2009, 17:03

      They put Max Payne on the cover and did a big feature on it, but still slated the film upon its release. I trust TF reviewers' integrity, even if I don't always agree with them.

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    • Garvan

      Dec 13th 2009, 6:46

      The reason it's so difficult to predict how well Avatar is going to do at the box office has a lot to to with the fact that even though film mags and film geeks are going on and on about it nobody I know who isn't a film geek seems to have heard about it. I'm definitely going to go see it but unless the 3D is completely and utterly s**t-yer-pants-fantastic I don't see how anyone else would be interested. It looks like another Battlefield Earth, only the stupid-looking aliens are blue. To be honest, though, I thought Titanic was going to flop too so maybe you should just ignore me.

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    • AsheleyG

      Dec 13th 2009, 18:52

      3

      Watch This Movie Online FREE Watch The Latest Movies Online FREE the website is : http://MoviesWatch.info - Invictus - Armored - Brothers - Ninja Assassin - Old Dogs - Blind Side - Precious - Planet 51 - The Twilight Saga: New Moon Saga - 2012 - A Christmas Carol - This Is It(Michael Jackson Movie) - The Box - The Fourth kind - Saw VI - Paranormal Activity - Couples Retreat - Law Abiding Citizen - Zombieland way more! the website is : http://MoviesWatch.info

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    • DQ17E

      Dec 13th 2009, 23:37

      Really, this is better than A Serious Man and Up? Better than Inglorious Basterds? As good as Fight Club? I really don't think so. This is three stars at most, just like Paranormal Activity is three stars at most. Just as Peter Jackson's King Kong wasn't five stars and The Lovely Bones isn't four stars (again three stars in both cases). In the 100 and 150th issues the editors have pointed out their mistakes when it comes to reviews, I don't think we need to wait until issue 200 to see this downgraded. They may have trashed Max Payne but that doesn't mean they have any integrity, it means that they are happy to take the money to promote a film then trash it. Took many times over the last few years TF (and others) have fawned over the tent-pole releases, only to row back at the time of DVD review, then downgrade them in retrospect. No doubt when The Last Airbender gets its release they will give it the five star treatment again, then reign it in six months later.

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    • thethingandi

      Dec 14th 2009, 10:05

      I just love people who have a go at reviewers opinions on films and then force their own down everyones throats, especialy when they haven't even seen the sodding film yet! Andy's seen the film, wrote a great review and gave it 5 stars, you haven't seen the film, told us all that your opinion on all films is the only opinion that's right and gave it 3 stars! If your so narrow minded you wont see anyone else's view, why read reviews? Think Neytiri maybe wearing that necklace in honour of people like you. I shall go see it Thursday, then I'll have my own opinion on it - if I'm allowed?

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    • daiz18

      Dec 14th 2009, 11:53

      Can't wait!!

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    • ThatGumYouLike

      Dec 14th 2009, 22:07

      Yeah, seriously, what on Earth are you on about? Why are you awarding star ratings to films you haven't seen? Don't be bloody stupid. I found the review a little bit over the top in its fawning. I appreciate the passion behind it though. I don't normally care for 3-D, but this is set to change my mind, it sounds like it'll really enhance the experience. I can't see how I could like it more than Where The Wild Things Are, but I'm sure it'll still be a great watch, albeit in a very different way.

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    • Garvan

      Dec 15th 2009, 3:27

      There seems to be an awful lot of really really angry people on both sides of whatever this argument is about at this stage. I gather it's still about a movie that hardly anyone's seen yet. So let's all just relax. Let's have a cup of tea and wait a few days until the movie comes out and THEN we can rip the s**t out of each other online.

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    • Tedtron

      Dec 15th 2009, 9:58

      Well said Garvan. I think that anyone saying either "It's rubbish" or "It's great" before Thursday is just embarassing themselves. Shame on you, DQ17E or whatever your name was.

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    • AndyHouse

      Dec 15th 2009, 12:37

      Off to see it tomorrow in IMAX 3D - will let you know then - if I still have eyeballs...

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    • Tedtron

      Dec 16th 2009, 17:37

      Seeing it tomorrow at 6 am. Well hyped up.

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    • Tedtron

      Dec 16th 2009, 17:38

      And, Garvan? I'll take that bet double or nothing.

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    • thedarkknight

      Dec 17th 2009, 0:57

      5

      Ok, seeing as I appear to be the 2nd person here to have seen the film (after Andy) I will offer the first real opinion and not just another speculation. This film was nothing short of.... and that's the problem. I cannot think of an adjective to describe it that doesn't make me sound like an absolute prick. "Mesmerizing", "Captivating"...all bollocks. It is one of the greatest things I have seen in cinema, and I cannot urge everyone enough to go and see it. If this movie doesn't do well due to a flimsy advertising campaign then it's a travesty. But I loved it. 100%. It probably isn't perfect, but it feels like it is.

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    • rorschach

      Dec 17th 2009, 3:27

      4

      Rebirth of cinema? Cmon now, seriously. Its a movie..a very good movie, and thats all it is..and theres nothing wrong with that. But this type of "game changing" hyperbole is precisely why the trailers were met with such derision after Cameron promised us the second coming. If you want to read a review that doesn't have its head completely up Cameron's a*s check this one out. http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/rorschachsrants/news/?a=12896

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    • perpetually

      Dec 17th 2009, 9:53

      5

      I watched the film last night and it has driven me to post my first review of anything online. It was phenomenal and has risen the bar, of cinema viewing at least, so high you can't see it at the moment. If you don't believe me, believe the rest of the audience. I know its common at premiers but I have watched alot of cinema and have NEVER seen a standing ovation at a general screening before. Bravo Mr. Cameron.

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    • sapperwilde8976

      Dec 17th 2009, 16:12

      5

      i also saw this film last night. It was amazing. I go to the pictures a lot and i mean a lot. I think that this has been the best film i have seen this year. I agree with "perpetually" as they said it perfectly... Bravo Mr Cameron.

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    • dfooster

      Dec 17th 2009, 18:10

      5

      i spent the first hour just saying wow over and over again in my head. i wanted to reach out and move the leaf or the flying jellyfish things that were right in front of me. none of it was over done for 3D sakes but was just there. simply amazing. the storyline is prob a 4 star experience but overall this is a 5 star film all the way. i try and explain how good it is to people but there is simply nothing else available to compare it to.

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    • MICK3666

      Dec 17th 2009, 18:46

      4

      OK, I think people are getting a bit carried away here. I saw the film last night & Yes it is an awesome piece of Cinema & Yes Cameron has done something spectacular and raised the bar in 3D and any film lover should rush to see this film, but once you get past the eye candy & this film is major eye candy, the film has some poor points to it, the dialogue at times is CHEEEESEEEYY and I did cringe with embarrassment for ole JC. There was one moment in the film where I thought we were going to get the Braveheart "Freedom" speech & I do get the feeling I'd seen most of this film before. (Someone has mentioned Dances With Wolves)! Why do I get the slight feeling of "Emperors New Clothes" syndrome here.:-)

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    • koolerking

      Dec 17th 2009, 20:40

      5

      Just saw it last night and i have to say, believe the hype. It is game changing, the 3D isn't the old "things poke out at you" style. It envolpes you and you have to remember you are watching 3D. The CG of the characters carry over the actors movements and facial feelings, again you forget what is what. Yes, the plot is an age old story, but it also has a new tint to it. JC doesn't go over the top in any aspect of the story (when he could have done so easily and then it would have been a lesser film). It is truly amazing. Go see it, and make sure in 3D!

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    • joeymac

      Dec 17th 2009, 22:54

      5

      A truly staggering spectacle. 3D is essential! For the three hundredth time: THIS IS THE FUTURE OF CINEMA. Unequivocally.

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    • IbleMcBible

      Dec 18th 2009, 0:02

      5

      Have never felt compelled to review before, but this film compelled me! My expectations were high, and they were met. Yes it's a little cheesy, but the visuals and story by far compensate. I feel a little blasphemous for saying it, but it's up there with Fellowsip of the Ring :s

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    • Dortmunder70

      Dec 18th 2009, 8:54

      Totally agree with MICK3666, its very impressive to look at, but ultimately its Dances with Wolves in a party frock, take away the eye candy and what you're left with is minimal characterisation and story, poor dialogue and some bloke who sounds like Mel Gibson. I enjoyed parts of it (the tree destruction was superb), but someone really needed to trim the last third, it dragged. and if you're going to employ Stephen Lang, get him to do something other than shout "Fire!" and "Come to poppa" cringe! Why is "Aliens" so exceptional and this so bloated & uninvolving?

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    • oui3d

      Dec 18th 2009, 12:17

      4

      Visually Stunning, my eyes enjoyed every second. Having never seen Dances with wolves (i'm always in the pub at Xmas) I still thought plot & dialogue were beyond obvious. Some extremely 2D characterisation for a 3D film.

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    • johnr93

      Dec 18th 2009, 13:00

      5

      It's not life changing but it's my first proper 3D film and I think it's going to be hard to beat it. I reached out and tried to grab one of those floaty seed things... Superb, as close to film perfection as it gets (until the next one).

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    • Digibit

      Dec 18th 2009, 13:21

      4

      The 3D was good but game changing? I saw this last night at an IMAX 3D cinema. Anyone that has been to the theme parks in Florida over the last 10 years will have seen 3D exactly the same as this many times using polarized glasses. Hardly 'new' technology. I understand how the images were captured is revolutionary but as a few other people have mentioned, if you look past the gimmicks you are left with a good film but not great. Comparisions with Dances with Wolves (or The Last Samurai) are spot on.

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    • jonarcher

      Dec 18th 2009, 14:00

      5

      Be in no doubt as to how awe-inspiring the 3D is for this film. Sure the dialogue is porridge lumpy (err, it's a James Cameron film?) There are many references to other great films, most notably Aliens and Star Wars, and it's patently obvious where the plot is going, but it looks astonishing. I found myself ducking/covering/trying pathetically to swat things away, as well as clapping at the end. Also a new experience

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    • Hadouken76

      Dec 18th 2009, 18:31

      5

      Despite the fact the some parts resembled a Roger Dean album cover and the 3D was more pronouced in Monsters Vs Aliens it was still a ride and in a year of anticipointments, (Terminator 4, Wolverine, Transformers 2), it seems unsual the best films were left until last, (district 9, zombieland, where the wild things are) it does look liek they saved the best until last, plus there was some nice little nouances, like the 911 reference, the iraq war..

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    • SelinaG

      Dec 18th 2009, 23:43

      5

      Watch This Movie Online FREE http://MoviesWatch.info

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    • ebyandsmartie

      Dec 19th 2009, 8:57

      2

      If another writer handed in this as a screenplay it would NEVER have gotten made, FACT. The story is cowboys and indians (native americans). Yes its 'A man named horse' and 'Dances with wolves', but it is totally 'FernGully: The Last Rainforest' the back story, the love story, everything is the same, except fairies become aliens and cloning becomes a magic spell. Good god 'Ant Bully' has more originality. Yes the 3D effects and visuals are amazing, but like I first said would that have convinced any studio if it wasn't James 'I made you a billion dollars so I'll make what ever movie I want' Cameron? Oh and Mr Cameron Roger Dean is still waiting for his money, see http://www.rogerdean.com to understand how the whole look was 'BORROWED!'

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    • JimHart

      Dec 19th 2009, 17:21

      5

      It ticks me off that my good friend Roger Dean does not seem to be given any credit in the promotion of or credits for the film Avatar. In fact, the hype seems to be that the film is entirely original. I would think it would be clear to all who are even remotely aware of Roger’s work on albums for Yes, Asia, Uriah Heep and many others, that much of movie scenery strongly resembles his imagery. You can see what I mean by going to http://sfae.com/index.php?action=gallery&status... and to http://www.rogerdean.com In my opinion, Avatar provides a spectacular rendering of Dean's genius....and he wasn't even invited! Is this a blatant rip off?

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    • DanielMcA

      Dec 20th 2009, 0:19

      You're right Jim. Not only that I was sitting next to James Cameron in LAX recently and I heard him tersely shout into his mobile phone "is that so?! Well Roger Dean can suck my balls!"

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    • Jkaltz11

      Dec 20th 2009, 0:44

      3

      It was okay.

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    • Hadouken76

      Dec 20th 2009, 1:06

      5

      After everything he's done, winning 11 oscars and make a film that grosses over a billion dollars and pushin the boundaries of technology, James Camerons only recently been awarded a star on HOllywood walk of fame, Cameron Diaz get one for wearing a tight dress and asking 20 million for films that dont make any money..astonishing..

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    • annunziato

      Dec 20th 2009, 10:59

      3

      Whilst the 3d was impressive and some scenes visually stunning, the story was fine but not exceptional. I was never bored at any point but yet I still felt the 2 1/2 hr length. Not poor by any means but not classic either.

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    • starwars4life

      Dec 20th 2009, 16:30

      5

      Avatar was amazing. Avatar deserves 9.9/10. Avatar has outstanding visuals. Avatar is more than a film. Avatar is a massive achievement in cinema. BUT It had too much, WAY too much, re-used plot and story: it contained scenes which have been seen in every other film of the last thirty years; the dramatic 'heroes losing' scene, the 'switching sides' sequence of the central character, the typical falling in love scenario, the 'gaining their trust' sequence, the 'rocky montage' sequence and the 'lets blow s**t up and have things screaming and/or dying' section. Not good. With that much money and that much time one would have thought someone would have conjured up a new plot and script that didn't contain every film cliche in the book!

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    • rice36

      Dec 20th 2009, 16:55

      2

      This film has been massively overhyped. To be fair the stpry was rubbish and predictable. The CGI was still impressive, but unlike "Lord of the Rings" it was too heavily relied on. The 3D didn't really work for me either. In all this film was a massive disappointment. It dragged on too long, with its very "Titanic" like music, and did not entertain or impress me at all.

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    • koolerking

      Dec 21st 2009, 1:29

      starwars4life, How would you tell a story without using parts of another story placed in a different world? If you're not supposed to then we may as well pack our bags and never go to the cinema again, there'd be nothing else to tell! Going by your name there is only one true film isn't there? BTW, wasn't the star wars story a rehash of another storyline??

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    • DanRose

      Dec 21st 2009, 11:20

      5

      saw it at the IMAX on Sunday morning at 11am and I will say this. It is the most enjoyable movie experience I have ever, ever had at the cinema... if you like movies and I'm sure most of you do there is nothing not to like here. Ignore all the scepticism and pessimistic views being flung around here mostly by people that have not seen it yet, or have only in 2D (WHAT'S THE POINT FOOLS) and go and watch something you have never witnessed before. Isn't that what's cinemas are about? Witnessing something new and excting. Letting your imagination run away with you? Well Cameron has taken you there and then some. The visuals are utterly incredible and you really don't want the movie to end as you are literally engulfued in the beauty of Pandora. So the story line is a little cliche and the its focus on how we are destroying our plantet is obvious and yes we have all seen the story arc before, but I urge you to not worry about that and go and enjoy an experience you will never forget. I did not want the movie to end. Now how many films can you say that about? And for goodness sake watch it in 3D....as God, whoops sorry Cameron intended.

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    • entervoice

      Dec 21st 2009, 16:27

      4

      The film is good but not a masterpiece!! It's good watching it in 3-D, but when other films are made in this format, the audience will soon get bored of seeing these effects and that's why the STORY has to be interesting. The story is predictable and that's disappointing. It did not excite me like the way 'The Dark Knight' did. The special effects are amazing but some scenes are very weak,like when Jake is running,right at the beginning,the images are fuzzy!!! Great film to look at but the story could have been alot better!!

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    • vanillasky

      Dec 21st 2009, 17:59

      5

      This film is amazing and as usual, you have the people who want to slate anything that has been getting hype. Well if you want to do that, take a look at them b******t twilight films. Christopher Lee must be wondering how vampires turned into prats. Anyway back to Avatar, I was totally hooked from the first scene to the last I recommend anyone to see this in cinema because the battle scene at the end is absolutely brilliant. I am going to go and see it again next week. As Sully said when he was in his Avatar - This is great.

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    • piffle

      Dec 21st 2009, 23:08

      3

      The effects are phenomenal, there's absolutely no argument there. But this film is totally "meh" when it comes to plot (we've seen it all before), subtlety (allegory should be something we read into a film, Jim, not something the script bludgeons us with), and dear god its preachy! I have no idea why Worthington is the "next big thing" because he has all the charisma and range of a lump of unobtanium in this film, and can't even manage a decent accent. Its not poor, its just okay, and sorry but "game changing" effects are not gonna make me watch a film more than once.

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    • Hadouken76

      Dec 22nd 2009, 16:20

      They said that about Russell Crowe, thats Oscar-winning Russell Crowe

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    • wenzu

      Dec 24th 2009, 7:34

      5

      Hey everyone. Was laughing my a**e off reading some of your comments. Its really something else, truly a labor of love achievement. I've seen it yesterday, am Maltese, and managed to see it on 3D (FULL HD),.now don't go quote me that this is the best film EVER,.but hey, do yourselves a favor, and don't download it from a cheapo site...or wait till you could rent it..go and have an experience. Travel to your nearest 3D full HD cinema. Now if you're still contemplating on watching this big adventure on your laptop, not to worry though..there's some good narrative and emotions going on. Is it better than Aliens? Terminator? Who gives a damn! I'd watch those movies for ever...just like this one. Enjoy a merry Christmas and a happy NEW YEAR... From Malta.

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    • BabyDiego

      Dec 24th 2009, 19:40

      4

      My review: 4 out of 5. action spectacular but not much of it, visuals amazing, 3d is not that special (maybe too subtle for my expectations) but the Na'vi are amazing, like real people. It has a bit of a last samurai/dances with wolves feel so people hoping for the usual full on Cameron action may be a little leet down. i think i wasnt amazed because i took it for granted that its all CGI, cos it looks so much like a real world, but in hindsight it is very good, stunnigly good and might see it again. The point is, I've also been following it for 2 years so the hype was soo high, so I was never gonna be truly amazed, but I can appreciate it for what it was trying and it had bags of heart and emotion. its best going in to it not knowing much about it like my mate who saw it with me and loved it

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    • Jkaltz11

      Dec 27th 2009, 22:25

      2

      Hugely dissapointed.

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    • dworf13

      Dec 30th 2009, 11:06

      5

      this is a fantastic movie, so much that I am going to go and watch it again in the next week or so. The Guardian is one of the worst papers for reviewing films, they gave Inglorious 2 stars for gods sake. 2 stars seems to be there favourite rating for good films.

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    • gurjit07

      Dec 30th 2009, 20:50

      5

      It's a five star film no doubt. The story is a bit Dances with Wolves, and if you're not watching it in 3d then it will drag. I agree with the comments about TF's reviews. They said Die Hard 4 was good. And gave Jumper 4 stars. Sheeesh.

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    • essentialatom

      Dec 30th 2009, 20:59

      As a film theory student if I were to sumbit that review to my tutors I'd be asked to leave university. It's all very well claiming a film is game-changing and revolutionary, but if you don't back it up with reasons it's worthless hackery. This review confirms what I've suspected at least since your review of Transformers 2 - Total Film is nothing more than a lad's mag that has no interest in genuine film criticism and honest critique. I'm no Sight & Sound snob, that publication has more than its fair share of problems too, generally based on the way in which it dismisses 'Hollywood' films in favour of smaller, often foreign films, but the way in which you lot can get away with that excuse of a review is appalling.

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    • Jrdnsans1792

      Dec 31st 2009, 15:09

      5

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    • Chrisic

      Dec 31st 2009, 20:12

      3

      As I expected. Overhyped. The 3D? A serious disappointment, and before experimenting with new technology, conjure a decent plot and a respectable amount of depth to the characters. The first hour and a half is painstakingly slow and dare I say boring? I found my answer as I turned to those sitting beside me to find a somewhat glazed look upon their faces. Not due to amazement, but to disappointment. Ok, expectedly the visuals are stunning on occasion, but does that mean film-makers will now be sacrificing traditional, yet vital film conventions? Avatar for me, is the movie which has shown to the world that 3D belongs to Disney. Rather than a new dimension in cinema and the future in film, I see it as more of a death. I Couldn't disagree more with Andy Lowe's review.

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    • JGill25

      Jan 1st 2010, 21:34

      5

      I saw this film in 3D and it was the best 6.50 I have ever spent in my life! Cameron truly outdid himself again, only adding to his greatness, and raising the standard again, almost out of everybodys reach. the film was incredible, enjoyable, truly outstanding, and kept me interested and drawn in from start to finish. James Cameron truly is a genius.

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    • Tedtron

      Jan 2nd 2010, 13:34

      5

      I have seen the future and it is blue.

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    • hulk68

      Jan 3rd 2010, 10:17

      5

      The movie that will change Cinema forever certainly not. But a worthy addition to the grestest movies of all time certainly yes. Its not only about the effects but the story is inspired, the csting and acting is very good, especially Saldana as her character is the most memorable to me and the virtual environment is very interesting depite the fact that for most of the part it looks like an excellently accomplished CGI movie. VERY Well done.

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    • slomax19

      Jan 3rd 2010, 20:37

      4

      A formulaic plot structure, basic characters and cheesy dialogue is rescued by some genuinely amazing visual effects. With 3D glasses, this is one of the most memorable films you will have seen in a long time. Without them, it's just a straightforward, nature-loving and cheesy action / adventure movie.

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    • fatherjack

      Jan 4th 2010, 15:38

      2

      This is the first film I've ever walked out of. Not because it's the worst, but because after an hour, I felt fairly confident I knew what was going to happen for the rest of the film (a quick look at Wikipaedia proved me right) and an hour of looking at blue, green and yellow in underwhelming 3D should be enough for anyone when you don't give a monkeys about what happens to any of the characters. How many times has the magazine featured interviews with people at Pixar who say that the story matters more than the technique used to tell it? This ranks alongside TF's five stars for The Matrix Regurgitated.

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    • Irvinmagno

      Jan 4th 2010, 21:20

      5

      Amazing Film just truly a master class .... the Na'vi where hot too !!

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    • acuteringsting

      Jan 5th 2010, 2:35

      2

      Do not believe the hype. Visually stunning? Yes. But so was the turd I flushed this morning. Awful story, flat characters (ironic for a film so in love with 3D) and a heavy reliance on 3D technology. Not a patch on The Terminator, T2, Titanic or even True Lies. Stck with titles that begin with 'T', Jim. Oh, and invest less time in re-invenmting the wheel and more time on an original and compelling story.

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    • dztop

      Jan 7th 2010, 19:28

      2

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    • Dominc

      Jan 8th 2010, 13:22

      5

      This was the film everyone was waiting for and it was great

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    • Greyarcher

      Jan 10th 2010, 23:39

      5

      I don't get the apparent trend for slagging off things that cost a lot of money to make. I have seen Avatar 3D twice now and highly recommend it as an experience. Do not go to see a film about blue aliens if you expect the greatest script, story or characterisation. It's a fantasy film. Sit back and immerse yourself. A film that can do that to the viewer in this cynical age IS a breath of fresh air. This IS a milestone. The technology of transferring an acting performance onto another visual character has truly arrived. What next? A new Marilyn Monroe film? The return of Audrey Hepburn? I can't wait.

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    • Andyvalver

      Jan 12th 2010, 12:54

      5

      People are raving about the 3D but in my opinion it was just ok. I could quite happily watch it in normal hi def. I think the people who were most impressed were people who have never seen 3D before. That said, amazing film.

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    • captainchod

      Jan 12th 2010, 13:15

      5

      A genuine 5 star experience

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    • Smurfycat

      Jan 13th 2010, 16:55

      3

      Seriously now... The film had outstandingly beautiful images. The best in CGI and 3D ever! In fact you realize how good special effects are if you forget about them. You don't 'see' the CGI anymore. The problem with Avatar is, that since it's so well made you forget about the FX, you soon realized how silly and childish the story is! It's 'The Last Samurai', 'Pocahontas' and 'Dances With Wolves' by way of 'Captain Planet'! So, seriously what do you get? An overtly long CGI show with an insultingly silly plot... I'd give it *** max.

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    • homechef

      Jan 13th 2010, 17:40

      2

      Cliche ridden drivel, with amazing visual effects. Overlong, sentimental, and with dreadful characerisation. See this for the 3D effects only and don't expect too much from the plot, and you'll have a fun show, but so much more could have been done with this technology.

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    • Pacific

      Jan 16th 2010, 13:27

      5

      I sometimes wonder at the nature of subjectivity. Are my eyeballs somehow wired up differently to those who have written thats its 'nothing special'? Have I had some experience in my life, or else lacked one, which meant I could do nothing but stare in wonderment at this movie for the full 2 hours and 40 minutes? For me, this film was the best experience I have ever had in a cinema, barring a screening of 'Goldeneye' when I was sat on the back row with Tanya Richards as a teenager. Blu-ray and home cinema have narrowed the gap between the cinema and home experience - this film opens the gulf once again. My friends and I all had big grins on our faces when we left this film, and ultimately when you cut through all the BS isn't that what its all about? Maybe I was fortunate that I didn't receive some bad news that day, or else get cut-up by a white van just on my way to the cinema..

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    • adamp

      Jan 23rd 2010, 20:26

      5

      Nothing less than a milestone in modern cinema, having just watched this in 3D with the film fresh in my mind. I can safely say that this is a truly mesmerising film. The CGI being one, yet brilliant, component in a spectacularly made film. The acting couldn’t have been better. And the story was one that encompasses everything a good action/adventure film, such as this one, should have. With a carefully balanced mix of light and shade James Cameron has made yet another success, executing this film with exact precision which is what this film deserves. Like I said, it has it all; action, adventure, the graphics, the kick a*s shoot ‘em up, explosions, excitement, the guy, the girl, the love, the good conquering evil. A milestone.

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    • Vantage

      Jan 24th 2010, 22:26

      5

      So many reviews busying themselves with the inadequate plot and 2 dimensional characters. If your a film fan, then having one eye on the hype is second nature and with the hype little details reveal things like plot, characters, effects and so on. I knew the plot before I turned up at my local cinema. The characters coming across wooden? I knew that too! Personally I didn't give a darn about those things. There's plenty of films out that I'll go and see for the plot, but for Avatar I went for the event. For a cinematic experience I hoped would make my jaw drop like it did all those years ago with Star Wars and it didn't disappoint. Whilst writing this my jaw still remains open. Avatar brought out the kid in me once more. Bouncing in my seat with a beaming smile and saucer sized eyes hidden away under those geeky 3D glasses. I took my 8 year old boy with me. He really couldn't give a flying stuff about plot and to see the joy on his face was a absolute joy in itself. Like I with Star Wars he will remember Avatar for the rest of his life. 2 hours & 40mins long and my boys eyes never left the screen, except for the chatty plot driving bits. How many films at that length could achieve that? BRILLIANT FUN!

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    • herosthroe

      Jan 27th 2010, 10:55

      5

      Cameron said he'd deliver a cinema changing experience and he has. He never said anything about a cinema changing story, therefore, I completely agree with "Vantage." I don't think I've ever seen a film where everyone in the room was glued to the screen with such wonder and amazement on their faces- for the entire length of the show!! You just know if you could see under everybody's glasses, that their eyes would be as wide as dinner plates!! I thought Total Film's review was a little gushy- but now having seen the movie, I agree with it completely!!! I don't know what words there are in existence to describe how amazing this film is... I urge everyone to see this!!!!

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    • zakmccormack

      Feb 6th 2010, 18:19

      5

      Having just only seen the film a day or so ago I really can't believe why I didn't go and see this earlier. In terms of the 3D aspect I was a little sceptical but after seeing this I have changed my opinion quite dramatically. It was certainly an experience I will not be forgetting in a hurry. This definitely deserves all the praise it is getting!

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    • DanielMcA

      Feb 15th 2010, 23:10

      3

      I am James Cameron's brain: Weeeeeeeeeeee, cluck, cluck, weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, half a pound of kidney please. Yes, yes, yes, yes, noooooooooooooooo...Ok, yes, weeeeeeeeeeee, cluck, cluck. Oh look, a hat!

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    • beck79

      Feb 18th 2010, 13:28

      2

      Come on, if it wasn't for the effects everyone would agree that this is a s**t film. Bad script, terrible plot, so-so acting and way too long.

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    • luke22

      Feb 23rd 2010, 10:51

      2

      Very poor in en every department of film making. The 3.D. was better used in a christmas carol. Luke

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    • timoburke

      Mar 7th 2010, 5:00

      5

      When people complain that the story is cliche, I pose this. Let's take the most basic cliche plot-line of all time which is The Eternal Love Triangle. When viewing yet another incarnation, one could resist the call of the drama. Yet, if you ARE one of the people within a Love Triangle, then you're Very Very Interested in what happens. To me, this is like watching 'Avatar'. If you stop w*****g about criticisms and instead open up to the experience and enjoy as much as you can, then you are richly rewarded with exhilaration and hopefulness. I remember in the 60's when critics were ragging on The Beatles, that they couldn't read music so they weren't 'real' musicians, that their hair was effeminate, etc. So, it's not the accuracy of the criticisms -- it's the Relevance! I adore this film and am uplifted every time I bring another pal to view it with me. The message is that people are only happy when they respect one another. As soon as Cameron called the exalted precious mineral 'Unobtanium', he elevated the story to allegory, which is missed by so many diss-ers. And, when people complain about Worthington's accent, well, haven't you heard people who talk like him -- a blend of home-country mixed with Americanism? So, this is realistic, not filmatic.

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    • hendrixisgod777

      Mar 21st 2010, 16:01

      4

      The film looked great but by the 90th minute became boring and predictable. Essentially, 'Pocahontas' without the laughs which seems to be a view shared by some of 'Avatar's strongest defenders, including 'Totalfilm'. How can a film get 5 stars if it's a pale imitation of past successes? I'll give it 4 stars but that includes a bonus star for use of technology. As for Andy Lowe, I've dug him out before and I'm gonna do it again: Please stop writing reviews that make you sound like a giddy school girl on prom night. Please back up your praise with facts, examples and without (as someone mentioned before) sounding like something out of a lads mag. What's happened to the Dan Jolins and Ceri Thomases. This is another review that will be downgraded in 6 months which is a shame because it's a disservice to other films, film makers and more importantly, the paying public.

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    • stateofflux

      Apr 17th 2010, 16:58

      4

      Without the massive overhaul and usgae of CGI this movie wouldn't have had such good reviews. James Cameron was very inventive in how he opened up the world of Pandora to the audience, but everyone has seen this a hundred times before. If he'd really been writing this for so long instead of fantasising about six-legged creatures then the storyline would be a hell of a lot better. The acting/voice overs were spot on and it's obvious that a lot of thought went into the casting. Around halfway through the film it did become too obvious what was going to happen; however, the suspense and action was delivered perfecty- despite Quaritch being too resilient and making his part in the story boring. Overall, this story is purely driven by special effects and, if they didn't leave so many fanboys amazed, this movie really wouldn't be getting so much credit.

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    • Drax83

      Apr 30th 2010, 22:12

      5

      I never got to see this at the cinema, but I did get the DVD yesterday. I Dont think may of the people giving rubbish reviews, can be much more than a teenager, as a Bond fan, Star trek,Star wars, orf the seventies & Eighties, "Avatar" is for me is one of the most awesome films I have ever seen. How can anybody not give this film 100/10. It combines Real people with virtual people, with each set of people with entirely differant intentons. Before going on, Im a terminator fan,but how any reviewer can align True lies, which is an action film, whis is masterpiece, is beyond me. This Film, is a combination of Matrix, Lord of the rings & Jurrasic park. Did anybody bother to read the credits after? Weta, also made LOTR, and is still responsible for producing the memorobila that goes with it. The contributors are major players, Industrial light and magic. Stan Winston, who is so well known for his creature creations over the the years. I do not believe, that it is driven by special effects, get real!!, "The real world", is virtual effects, special effects are outdated terms. If some say this is boring, then I suggest they go and watch Andy pandy,LOTR trilogy has golum as "Andy Sirkis" blended into each film. I found the Avatars in this film, hard to distinguish sometimes, from real people, thet were so life like. As a movie buff for 40 years, I have never seen anything come anywhere near to this new Land Mark in film history. James Horner, did another great music score, whih gave the film depth and feeling. Sigourney weaver gave an exellent foil to the other characters, and my last comment, is That when our hero takes over the largest most powefull winged creature, and joins with it, that was a defining momment, that I will never forget. Cant wait for Avatar 2!!

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    • district9

      Aug 24th 2010, 15:02

      4

      Overated mix between pochontos and dancing with wolves. Visual effects are superb and it's definitly worth the watch. But it's not the best film of 2009 by far, and district 9, moon and star trek are all better sci-fi's and I have to say I prefered terminator salvation

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    • madrox

      Aug 27th 2010, 12:59

      4

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    • xHattyx

      Nov 7th 2010, 15:35

      3

      I know I'll probably get a slaughtering for this, but I'll say it anyway. I wasn't blown away. I found the graphics amazing, a new era f cinema, fabulous. But the storyline wasn't brilliant, it was just a copy of Danes With Wolves, I'll quote South Parks joke here, it was in fact 'Dancing with Smurfs...on steroids' The first time you watch it it's good, but then it gets a bit tedious for my liking. Ps. Will anyone else please admit to the fact they spotted all the sexual innuendo's with the 'horses' and the err birdy dragony things they fly 'they'll try and kill you if you go near it, but then it will be yours for life' ...mating for life, for goodness sake I'd try and kill someone if a guy chased after me with his 'tentacle' ....it had to be said

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    • xHattyx

      Nov 7th 2010, 15:35

      3

      I know I'll probably get a slaughtering for this, but I'll say it anyway. I wasn't blown away. I found the graphics amazing, a new era f cinema, fabulous. But the storyline wasn't brilliant, it was just a copy of Danes With Wolves, I'll quote South Parks joke here, it was in fact 'Dancing with Smurfs...on steroids' The first time you watch it it's good, but then it gets a bit tedious for my liking. Ps. Will anyone else please admit to the fact they spotted all the sexual innuendo's with the 'horses' and the err birdy dragony things they fly 'they'll try and kill you if you go near it, but then it will be yours for life' ...mating for life, for goodness sake I'd try and kill someone if a guy chased after me with his 'tentacle' ....it had to be said

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    • glegs

      Jan 22nd 2011, 6:17

      3

      You'd think the most expensive film in history would have a half decent story. If you want a good alien movie watch Aliens; if you want a good sci-fi watch 2001.

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    • ashleyrhys

      Feb 10th 2011, 13:34

      1

      A story which has the world's most unoriginal story dragged out over two hours whilst being poorly acted by Sam Worthington. "Man is the greatest enemy." Yeah, I f*****g get it. James Cameron should not be praised for this unholy thing. It's a boring and predictable storyline which isn't even that creative when you think about it. He made them look like humans but bigger, blue and have flatter noses and magical ponytails. Big woop. He visualised it and made amazing special effects? Not really. The creativity is laughable and when you think of real fantasy worlds being created in their lushness and real creativity I think of the Final Fantasy games which have been hindered by technology really. I just don't see the hype behind this film. It's a spectacle of explosions, "heart-felt" romances and "I want to be one of you" moments. I just despise this film so much it physically hurts.

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    • TenaciousMe

      May 25th 2011, 17:10

      3

      Honestly not my cup of tea AT ALL. I was bored throughout the whole film. The reason i'm giving 2 stars however is based on how the film is made, the effects and technology used on this film is incredible. But it really wasn't my kind of film, at all. I have only watched it once and refuse to watch it again due to how bored i was.

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    • ubcool

      Dec 20th 2011, 2:06

      2

      Predictable, cheesy,cliched, Ferngully rip off. even the score was unoriginal.

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