A dozen years later, James Cameron has proven his point: He is king of the world.
As commander-in-chief of an army of visual-effects technicians, creature designers, motion-capture mavens, stunt performers, dancers, actors, music and sound magicians, he brings science-fiction movies into the 21st century with the jaw-dropping wonder that is “Avatar.” And he did it almost from scratch.
So starts Kirk Honeycutt’s review at ABC News (headline: “‘Avatar a Triumph of Technology, Storytelling’). The last line: “The only question is: How will Cameron ever top this?”
Dunno. Some reviews are taking the “great visuals, weak story” approach, but most of them seem to be genuinely raves. From Australia:
Director James Cameron’s spectacular, trailblazing new sci-fi epic Avatar has the makings of an instant classic… The long wait is over. And it has been well and truly worth it.
In Empire magazine:
Avatar is an astonishing feast for the eyes and ears, with shots and sequences that boggle the mind, from the epic – a floating mountain range in the sky, waterfalls cascading into nothingness – to the tiny details, such as a paraplegic sinking his new, blue and fully operational toes into the sand. The level of immersive detail here is simply amazing.
Of course, not everyone’s on the bandwagon. The Guardian does get off some jolly shots:
The locals turn out to be spindly blue 10-foot humanoids with distractingly twitchy ears – suggestions that Avatar is somehow channelling Ferngully are not all that wide of the mark. Sully quickly falls for the non-specific mystical rabbitings of the tribe, involving memory-harbouring trees, intimate relationships with flying lizards, and other such prog-rock-influenced stylings. It really is like a Yes album cover come to life.
But overall, you get the idea. It’s looking good for Avatar.