Avatar is a remarkable film from the mind of the man who brought us such blockbusters as Titanic and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. James Cameron has returned to directing films on the silver screen and oh what a return it is. James Cameron returns to us after a sizable 12 year absence from the world that is Hollywood filmmaking. He brings us a film about an injured soldier named Jake Sully who is recruited by the Military to gain intel on an indigenous alien race known as the Na’vi. Jake Sully is sent to Pandora where the Na’vi live so that he can figure out how to mine an energy mineral known as unobtainium from the planet. The reason he needs to gain intelligence from the Na’vi instead of just asking for the mineral is that the Na’vi do not trust humans. Jake Sully has to let his mind enter an avatar so that he can pass for an actual Na’vi member and convince them to allow humans to use unobtainium. Over the course of his time on Pandora, Jake Sully learns to respect and even embrace the culture of the Na’vi. The movie hits its climax when Jake’s betrayal is revealed and the military decide to get the unobtainium by force.
Avatar is a film that when I first heard about it I was as skeptical as anyone. The first thing I thought was that Avatar was Ferngully: The Last Rainforest with guns. I can say that now having seen the film that James Cameron was out to give us a cinematic experience that allowed us not only to be thankful for the nature that our planet does have but to respect and preserve its beauty as well. James Cameron is one of those rare directors who does not have a target audience because all he really seeks to do is educate us through the cinematic art pieces he puts foth. If more directors thought along these lines the race for which film would get the Oscar for Best Picture would become extremely competitive because the audience would hopefully be moved by so many different films. What makes Avatar work is that it is essentially about a man on a journey to find himself and how he changes or evolves throughout his time on Pandora. I personally cannot say any one performance in particular stood out for me but it was a film that by its ending had me questioning how I lived my life and what was important to me. James Cameron has made a colossal amount of money with this film and I hope that it is making money because of the questions it puts forth about our society and not just its eye catching visuals. One can only hope.