With over a billion in box office over the last week, I wonder if there are still any parents out there wondering whether or not to take the kids to see the movie Avatar. I’m guessing so, as I’m the only one in the DadLabs World HQ that has seen it. And I did go with my kids, in case you were wondering. Kid actually. Only the eleven year old made the cut, and for my box office dollar, that about the right place to draw the line. I would rate this movie an E10.
I do think the movie is a must-see for parents and their tweens. Seeing the movie really brought me back to hunkering down to watch the original Star Wars when I was, hem, ten myself. The rich realization of a completely imagined world combined with a technological breakthrough in special effects makes it a landmark that shouldn’t be missed. This animation is unlike anything you or your kids have ever seen.
So why not take the whole family? Because, despite their smurf-like blueness, the creatures that populate Pandora are extremely convincing, and there is an awful lot of highly realistic blowing up and even inter-species sexiness that might be a little overwhelming for the pre-tween set. If your kids love animals, it’s hard to see these cool yet repulsive yet cool creatures get dispatched, even digitally. The 3D intensifies the experience in my opinion.
I haven’t said that much about the story line because there really isn’t that much to say. If you have seen more than a dozen movies in your life, you’ll be able to successfully predict every plot point in this film, but that’s pretty much irrelevant. The roller coaster visuals keep you distracted.
Although I wasn’t fully successful in pulling this off, the themes of the movie (destruction of environment, displacement of native peoples) could conceivably lead to some interesting discussions. The group of boys I hosted at the movie got into a lively debate about whether it was okay to think of the mercenaries’ weapons as cool. Ans: yes, but they used them for bad things.
Finally, there is smoking by a heroic character (boo) and some adult language. This point landed when the smoking character called something “bullsh*t” and in the whole theatre, only one person laughed uproariously. My son.
What did you think? And do you plan to take the kids to see Avatar?