Avatar ★★★½

Given that eleven years have passed and we're still awaiting James Cameron's sequel to this Pandora set science fiction behemoth, the time felt fitting to return skyward and see whether Jimbo's money gobbling epic still stands up? $2.79 billion dollars, that's a lot of clams, and that's what Avatar took at the box office before becoming one of the biggest selling DVD and Blu Rays ever. It was a game-changer back in 2009, but given the current situation here on Earth, we have to ask ourselves one question, do blue lives still matter too?

I'd seen Avatar 3 times previously, but I hadn't seen this in almost eight years, and revisiting with fresh eyes and only a vague recollection of what all the fuss was about, I must admit this was one of those movies that had my wife beaming when we first saw it, and for her it was a five star movie. For me the hype had curtailed my expectations, how could a film possibly live up to that scrutiny, and I rated it three and a half stars on my previous viewings, which I thought was fair because I wasn't sure I was the target audience? The technological advancements were the highlight for me, the world building done by Cameron and his team was incredible, but my issues with the film mainly ran with the runtime, which was excessive for a family film like this one. Viewers with families would know better than me, but were the kids not bored by the end of this? I wasn't, but I could imagine little ones getting restless when the Na'vi started to get slaughtered near the end? The whole ecological/climate change angle of the film as a warning for what we're doing to our own planet was something I'm sure went over most of the kids' heads too, except Greta Thunberg of course, who states that this is actually a documentary. I still think that Sam Worthington was more believable as an Avatar than as an actor too, God he's awful, but he's helped out around him by some stellar turns from Zoe, Sigourney, and Stephen Lang who grunts it up as one fiery-arsed marine. It's still a wondrous film to look at, so colourful, so bright and alluring, and even though most people won't have those 3-D televisions to get the full Cameron effect, this still rocks on a big screen television. So my rating is staying the same, but I enjoyed my trip back to Pandora much more than I expected to, this is still top notch entertainment and I'm certain that when Jimbo gets those first two sequels done and dusted, then maybe this film will get the critical acclaim it deserves to match the commercial one.

So Cameron had given us original release dates for numbers 2 & 3 scheduled for 2014 and 2016 respectively, but those dates have come and gone, and now he's telling us December 2021 and 2023, time will tell whether he will finally deliver this time around, but there's bound to be audiences queued around the block when he does.

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