Avatar (2009) Movie Synopsis/Review

April 13, 2010
By Kat Lutsey BRONZE, Amery, Wisconsin
Kat Lutsey BRONZE, Amery, Wisconsin
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

This movie truly is one of a kind. Avatar is a 2009 American science fiction epic film written and directed by James Cameron. Avatar can Jake awakens in a VA hospital, where he is one of a seemingly endless number of veterans wounded in war. Then, Jake’s recently deceased brother, Tom, who we find out, was to be part of a high-level program overseen by corporate and military strategists, was murdered only a week prior to departure. Because Jake and his brother are genetic twins, he's presented with a unique opportunity: to take over his brother's contract and travel light years away to an entirely different planet, Pandora.
Now aboard a human transporter spacecraft, Jake is one of many soldiers about to touch down on Pandora, some 4.3 light years from Earth. Jake is in a wheelchair. He acknowledges the fact that he became paralyzed during war, and while a spine can be fixed, that "takes money," and that is tough to come by in the present economy.
Meanwhile, Jake soon meets Colonel Miles Quaritch, who educates the soldiers about Pandora's indigenous population, the Na'vi.
Jake is now in a science lab where he meets biologist Norm Spellman and Dr. Max Patel,
who are two members of the Avatar Program. Jake soon gets to see his brother’s avatar—which now becomes his avatar. Humans are unable to breathe Pandora's air, but the Avatar Program enables people to link with their own Avatar, a genetically-bred human-Na’vi hybrid. Through his Avatar body, Jake will be able to walk again, but as part of the Na’vi population.
Dr. Grace Augustine, Pandora’s program science lead, is doubtful that Jake possesses the skills to meet one of her objectives: to bond with the Na'vi and distinguish the factors for the breakdown in Na'vi/human relations.
Jake listens to the scientists tell him he can only be in one place at once. If human Jake is awake, avatar Jake is “sleeping.” An intricate process of computers and precious time of genetic linking separate the two lives.
Jake is then linked to his Avatar for the first time. Within a few moments, Jake makes his handlers nervous because he is moving too quickly and trying to walk. Jake soon busts out of the recovery room and into the daylight to find himself in a recreation area where other Avatars are playing. When Avatar Jake dips his toes into the dirt, Jake realizes how good it feels to be walking again, and he loves it, instantly feeling himself in this new foreign body.
After awakening from his avatar and converting back to his human body, Jake reunites with Colonel Quaritch, who re-warns Jake about the dangers awaiting him on Pandora. Colonel Quaritch tells Jake that he will help get his real legs back if he does what he is told, and Jake happily replies. He is informed that he has three months to achieve his objective of either coaxing the Na’vi people to move, or being forced to move by the “air flyers,” or, the humans.
Jake starts to explore Pandora with fellow mates again after returning to his avatar body, and he becomes separated with them when he meets one of Pandora’s native creatures. After fleeing, he soon meets Neytiri, a young Na’vi female who rescues him from another vicious, dog-like species of Pandora.
Jake is then presented to Neytiri's parents, Eytukan and Mo'at, who are the king and queen of the tribe. After a ritual gathering, Jake is finally accepted and brought to his new bed, a swinging hammock-like cocoon high up in the Hometree. As he falls asleep, human Jake is revived.
Next morning, all of the scientists, including Grace, are focused on every one of Jake's words. He lets them know the Hometree rests on Pandora's biggest deposit of Unobtanium, a mineral that is extremely valuable—twenty million dollars per kilogram.
Meanwhile, back in his avatar body, Jake listens to Neytiri tell him that all energy is borrowed and one day it needs to be given back. A couple of months have passed and Jake has grown stronger and closer to Neytiri. Finally, Jake has grown close enough to the Na’vi, Jake is led up into the Floating Mountains to pursue the second to the last step of becoming one of the Na’vi population, catching his own Banshee, a bird-like creature sacred to the Na’vi. Jake and Neytiri ride together to the Tree of Souls, the most sacred place to the Na'vi to bond with the tree, listening to the past wishes of others.
Jake learns the Na'vi believe that every person can be born twice. Neytiri leads Jake to a place of prayer, the "tree of voices" where they bond with the tree. Neytiri tells Jake he can choose a woman, the final step of becoming one of the Na’vi. Jake then chooses Neytiri to be his soul mate, and they bond together, becoming mated for life.
In the morning, Neytiri awakens to falling trees, then the presence of bulldozers. She cannot wake Jake (back on the base, Jake is having breakfast and is clearly in a dazed rush to return to Neytiri). Soldiers are advancing, the forest is falling around Neytiri, who is dragging and trying to carry Jake to safety. When he finally revives, avatar Jake climbs onto one of the flying craft and tries to stop it, eventually blinding their camera system and initiating gunfire.
Grace and Jake face off with RDA and military brass back in human form. It is revealed that Pandora has a "network of trees" and that the Omaticaya (Na’vi tribe name) will never leave Hometree. He's granted one hour to achieve the objective of telling them to leave before the bulldozers advance.
Jake and Grace are not welcomed back. Neytiri rejects Jake, and tells him to never come back. Both Jake and Grace are then bound and left behind by the Omaticaya, who are preparing to fight against the humans.
Gas canisters and rockets are launched into Hometree and the surrounding area. Many Omaticaya are killed. Mo’at, Neytiri’s mother, frees Jake and Grace and asks them, if they’re actually one of them, then to save the tribe. The hopeful reunion with the Omaticaya is not to be, initially. Jake is an outcast, an alien. Ever more determined to make amends with the Omaticaya, Jake arrives from the sky on the back of Toruk, the biggest Mountain Banshee to ever have been tamed, in front of the Tree of Souls, the place where all the Na’vi have gone since the fall of Hometree.
Jake says it's time to bring war to the sky people, and to do so, the other Na'vi clans must be brought together to fight as one.
A huge war starts between the Na’vi clans and the humans to show that the Na’vi are not to be pushed around anymore like they have been in the past. After a great deal of bloodshed and tears, Jake, Neytiri, and the Na’vi finally win, but barely. With human Jake in the Colonel's clutches from a very intense fight, Neytiri draws an arrow and shoots her enemy. However, much damage has been done to the camp from Colonel Quaritch’s attack, and is leaking oxygen. While in the midst of attack, a few very hardy blows were taken to the camp from Colonel Quaritch’s high intensity, “super human power,” life gear. Human Jake is awake, but has difficulty both breathing and trying to get a mask on because of his impairment. Fully in danger, Neytiri arrives to help Jake with his mask.
Jake signs off in his final video log, where we learn that he has chosen to transfer his consciousness to his Avatar self. In a ceremony, Jake passes through the eye of Eywa in the tree of souls, and wakes up in his Avatar self with Neytiri watching over him.
This movie ranked in at number one for six continuous weeks. Although it was over two and a half hours long, this movie completely caught my attention because the animations and graphics were so vivid. I felt like I was there, especially when I went to see it in 3-D. One thing that I did not enjoy about this movie though was that so many of the Na’vi people were murdered at the war at the end. I wish not so many had been killed, but in the end, it only added to the suspense. I would definitely recommend this movie for anyone who enjoys a thriller.

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