‘Avatar’ – Review

Avatar being rereleased in theaters is a worthy trip to the theater, especially if you have access to an IMAX 3D showtime. Cameron’s epic film is a sci-fi, fantasy film like no other.

Leading up to the release of Titanic in 1997, the conversation was filled with doubt, panic, and underestimating James Cameron. In 2009, before Cameron’s Avatar was released the conversation was very much the same as the film was another much-delayed, big budget vision from the writer/director. Once the film was released, the conversation shifted just as it did with Titanic to never underestimate James Cameron. Avatar went on to make almost $3 billion at the worldwide box office, crushing Cameron’s previous box office record. Somehow during all this, I personally never saw the film. Years went by and as I wanted to watch the film finally, I was told to wait until the film arrived back in theaters. Luckily, ahead of Avatar: The Way of Water, the original film has been rereleased in IMAX 3-D and remastered in 4K.

Since the film was released more than a decade ago, I worried Avatar could feel and look dated, but Cameron’s film and its visual effects not only hold water but are far superior to visual effects utilized in most movies today; the amount of time spent on the effects and production of the film is extremely evident. Every frame within Avatar you can feel and sense the time, care and effort put into it. Not a moment of the film’s runtime is wasted as you are transported to Pandora and find yourself in this new world created by Cameron and his team. The 3D format was not something I ever gravitated towards, but Avatar in 3D is truly a cinematic experience that is worthy of the medium. The sound was remixed and remastered for the re-release and is incredible at further creating a feeling the audience has been transported to Pandora. Cameron’s filmmaking finds a way to utilize all your senses with Avatar.

Something that makes Avatar feel so special is that the world of Pandora, outside of Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, has remained as solely the 2009 film and the future sequels. There are no spin-off TV shows, no prequels, no origin stories, just the original film. Avatar feels as if it could spawn an entire universe of other properties, yet the audience has been focused to enjoy just the original film.

The timely story of Avatar still holds up as the ecological message, that we’ve seen in films such as FernGully: The Last Rainforest and Pocahontas, remains relevant, even more dire today than before. While the script is cheesy at times, watching a greedy corporation attack an indigenous community for profits in a movie that made almost $3 billion worldwide is still an achievement. While Titanic had the love story as the central plot throughout the film, Avatar still has a love story, but the central story is man and nature. The relationship man has with the world around him. Cameron lets the audience journey Pandora through Jake Sully’s, Sam Worthington, does; at first, we’re scared, but curious. Then as Jake spends more time on Pandora, we become excited, enraptured by its beauty. As time goes on and we become more reliant on technology, Cameron included, watching Jake go back to basics to learn to live as one in nature is powerful.

Avatar being rereleased in theaters is a worthy trip to the theater, especially if you have access to an IMAX 3D showtime. Cameron’s epic film is a sci-fi, fantasy film like no other. Set pieces like you’ve never seen, a story that anyone can find something to enjoy, breathtaking visual effects and somehow all of this comes together to create an almost three-hour movie you’d watch another three hours of immediately.

Grade: A

Release Date: Out now in Theaters
Where to Watch: Theaters; VOD

Kenzie Vanunu
she/her @kenzvanunu
Lives in LA with her husband, daughter and dog. Misses Arclight, loves iced vanilla coffees.
Favorite Director: Darren Aronofsky
Sign: Capricorn

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