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(Review originally written at 9 May 2010)

Let me say that I was most definitely not disappointed by this movie. All of the visuals were just as spectacular and revolutionary as promised and you'll definitely get blown away by it all. It's simply good quality entertainment to watch and great to see that James Cameron, after an absence of 12 years, is back at his game. Nevertheless I still can't rate this movie very highly, since the movie is still a quite flawed one.

The real biggest complaint about this movie is its story. And I don't even mean that it's not being original enough and borrows heavily from well known stories and other movies, including some of Cameron's own. It's more that the story is being so incredibly formulaic and predictable. You can blame this movie for not featuring enough surprises in it. The movie is predictable from start till finish and you can exactly tell what's going to happen next and often how as well. Things also don't exactly get spiced up by some well written dialog, despite the fact that the movie truly had some great actors in it.

Of course it the story does not matter that much though for a movie such as "Avatar". This was always going to be a movie that was all about its visuals. And let me tell you, no matter how many great things you heard and read about this movie its visuals, it in no way does justice to what you'll actually get to see in this movie. It's really amazing. It's hard to praise this movie for just a few things, though it probably are the motion capture techniques used for this movie that are going to influence most of the future movies, especially when it comes down to its facial expressions. For lets say 60% of the time you're watching computer generated stuff but it all looks so incredibly good and complex that you really forget all of this and simply get drawn into the world of Pandora. And for the scenes that are not entirely computer generated you also have a whole bunch of other effects, floating somewhere in the background.

Every director wants his 'Star Wars'. To create a world and universe on their own, with many different characters, species and far off worlds. With "Avatar" James Cameron made his 'Star Wars' and undoubtedly we'll get some sequels to this movie in the near future, also not in the least due to the movie its insane financial success. Cameron truly created a entire world on his own, that has such an incredible look to it and is filled with many details. All kinds of different plants, species and natural environments pop up out of the computer, which combined with its characters could had provided more than enough material and potential to fill at least 3 more 3 hour long movies with and I hope they will. In this movie everybody and everything still needed to get introduced, while in the sequels they of course can basically start right off with the action, so to speak, since everybody is already familiar with this new world.

It's a long movie, that of course is not without its slower moments. Especially because the movie is progressing so formulaic you want the movie to get to its point and cut to the chase just a bit snappier. But even so it are mostly the visuals and the more than capable actors that still keep the movie going and interesting to watch at all time. But it isn't until its action kicks in that the movie truly becomes spectacular and entertaining. It left me wanting more and was some great adrenaline pumping stuff to watch. Cameron always had been at his best when handling action.

A movie that is not without its flaws but still an incredible revolutionary must-see.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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