Sci-fi movie promotes classic themes

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By Kirsten Laskey

Around the holidays sometimes the only thing you really want is escape the rush of the season by sitting in a dark movie theater and watching a film that is so packed with action and drama that it transports you to another world. “Avatar” certainly does the trick.

If you find yourself scanning the local movie listings this weekend, I strongly encourage you to choose “Avatar.” The movie jumps into a future where Earth is dying and in an attempt to save the planet, and make a large profit, a corporation invades another planet’s moon, Pandora, to mine a special rock that is key to Earth’s survival.

The problem is that the Pandora’s inhabitants, the Na’vi, are not accepting of humans invading and destroying their home. To manipulate the Na’vi’s approval for the mining operation, humans create Avatars, or Na’vi clones that humans project their minds and consciousness in to. An ex-Marine, Jake Scully (Sam Worthington), signs up to take part in the Avatar program. At first, Scully participates to earn the chance to regain use of his legs, which were paralyzed during his time in combat, but things get complicated as his relationship with a particular Na’vi tribe, especially with the tribe’s princess, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), deepens.

The movie proves that even in the future, where humans have the capability to travel light years away from their home planet, develop highly advanced weapons and gadgets, some fundamental things about humans never changed.

Our greed still compels us to do terrible things not only to the natural world but also to other living beings.

Yet, the other side of human nature, the courage we have to stand up and fight against all odds for what’s right also persists.

This isn’t just a sci-fi tale about the human condition it is also a love story. Scully’s and Neytiri’s love is a sweet one because it comes from two completely different species. They  overcome all their differences and exercise a lot of tolerance in the process. The movie’s greatness does not just lie within its story but also in its special effects. Pandora is like an alien Garden of Eden. It has a lush jungle landscape with plants and animals painted every color in a Crayola box.

The Na’vi are gorgeous, blue tiger stripped people with flowing braided hair that allows them to make an actual physical connection to the flora and fauna around them. It’s amazing how these computer generated people capture all the physical appearances of the actors who portray them.