Avatar wows early movie reviewers

Director James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar wowed critics at its London premiere on Thursday, with some early reviewers calling it “jaw-dropping,” “mind-blowing” and a game-changer in Hollywood for its digital effects.

The 3D epic adventure by the director of 1997 blockbuster Titanic is one of the most expensive films to date at a cost of about $400-million to make and market. It begins its worldwide launch next week, hitting United States theatres on December 18.

If initial reviews and Twitter buzz are any indication, it may be money well spent for film studio 20th Century Fox.

“James Cameron has proven his point: He is king of the world,” raved showbiz newspaper the Hollywood Reporter.

“As commander-in-chief of an army of visual-effects technicians, creature designers, motion-capture mavens, stunt performers, dancers, actors and music and sound magicians, he brings science-fiction movies into the 21st century with the jaw-dropping wonder that is Avatar,” it said.

Britain’s biggest-selling tabloid, the Sun, called it “the most dazzling film of the decade. ...
The final battle scene is 20 minutes long and absolutely mind-blowing.”

Avatar shows the forest-dwelling Na’vi fighting for survival against a colonial mining operation bent on stripping their planet. A crippled ex-marine is chosen to make contact with the mysterious people as a remotely controlled avatar.

Empire magazine gave the movie five stars out of five, calling it a “hugely rewarding experience” whose new technology “will give directors ... one heck of a sandbox to play in”.

Twitter lit up with comments from journalists leaving the tightly guarded premiere. “James Cameron is a freakin’ genius! I can’t say much but wow, I loved it,” wrote Alex Billington of the movie website FirstShowing.net.

The Guardian‘s Mark Brown wrote on Thursday that Avatar was “really much, much better than expected, [it] looked amazing and the story was gripping—if cheesy in many places.”

“The terrible film that some had been anticipating had not materialised. It was good,” Brown wrote. - Reuters

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