Avatar ★★★

For the most part, Avatar is nothing more than just a solid blockbuster, being both formulaic and overstuffed in how it chooses to portray what it’s going for. It’s fun, it’s cool, it’s satisfying. Yet it also isn’t difficult to understand why this was so successful at its initial release. It is wondrous in its simplicity, offering up pure spectacle and technical wizardry, taking a story that may seem familiar, but my goodness never quite like this. The film is awe-inducing from the first frame, with creativity spurning from Cameron’s vision. If nothing else, he understands the movie’s spirit. At times weightless, but always untethered, it strives to show us something that we never have. If that’s not true filmmaking, I don’t know what is.

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