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It may have its flaws, but James Cameron’s epic new action-adventure ‘Avatar’ is an astonishing and thrilling experience. Rating * * * *
by Mark Monahan
Seldom in the field of filmmaking can one man have spent so much time or money, or employed so much state-of-the-art technology, to make you want to head straight out and hug a tree – still less have done it in such eye-popping, heart-racing style.
More than 15 years in the making, and costing in excess of $300 million, James Cameron’s eco-minded epic ‘Avatar’ is like nothing you have ever seen. It unfolds on a digitally created sylvan world called Pandora that is straight out of your trippiest, most phantasmagorical dreams. City-sized rock formations hang miles above the ground supported only by vines; underwater plants glow like giants’ irises; seeds pulsate through the air like jellyfish. And the fact that you can see the whole thing in razor-sharp 3D means that these images by turn envelop you and dance before your eyes.
It is on Pandora that the Canadian-born director’s first mainstream film since 1997’s record-breaking ‘Titanic’ pits mankind against the peaceful, spiritual, forest-dwelling Na’vi people. Their land sits on a priceless mineral deposit that ‘we’ want. And, to help us get it, the army recruits a young paraplegic soldier, Jake (Sam Worthington), to infiltrate them by linking his mind to one of their bodies, genetically bred by the army for the purpose.
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