Posts Tagged ‘Sam Worthington’

Clash of the Titans

January 2, 2010 1 comment

It seems that Sam Worthington is bidding to take his place as a common ‘A-grade’ action star. After some decent success as Marcus Wright in Terminator: Salvation and super success as Jake Sully in Avatar his next gig is Clash of the Titans, a remake of the 1981 film of the same name, itself loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus.

The film focuses on Perseus – born of a god but raised as a man. Perseus is helpless to save his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing left to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth. Leading a daring band of warriors, Perseus sets off on a perilous journey deep into forbidden worlds. Battling unholy demons and fearsome beasts, he will only survive if he can accept his power as a god, defy his fate and create his own destiny. 

The film looks like it could be pretty epic (see the trailer here), but then again it’s always easy to make films look good with some gritty, muscley Greek heroes fighting demons to a score played by Matt Belamy (of Muse). We’ll just have to wait and see.


Avatar – A Review

December 23, 2009 3 comments

I first started following the news on Avatar about 6 months ago, as it went into post-production. At that time critics were touting it to be the film of the year. Most agreed that it would revolutionise the use of CGI in film. While others said it could be the film of the decade. The first reviews from the premier, on the 10th of December, said that initial thoughts had been right… this was a must see film. But in the last week or so I’ve come across some articles that have levelled some pretty harsh criticism.

So what is my verdict? Well, if I could sum up Avatar in one word it would simply be… Epic. James Cameron has once again revealed himself as a master of his art, and perhaps one of the most visionary directors of our time. Reading his thoughts and watching interviews with him makes one realise the depth of thought that goes into his productions. Above all, he is a story teller, with a keen insight into what resonates with audiences.

Avatar itself is a relatively simple story. The basic premise is that sometime in the future (2154 AD to be exact) humans have travelled to Pandora, the lush, low gravity moon of a planet circling Alpha Centauri, where they are mining for a valuable mineral known as unobtanium. The humans’ presence on Pandora is completely commercial and they will extract minerals at any cost, without regard to their impact on the planet. On the other hand, Pandora is inhabited by an indigenous species called the Na’vi who live in complete harmony with the natural world.

Humans are unable to breathe Pandora’s atmosphere, and peaceful interaction with the Na’vi is difficult. Researchers led by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) create the Avatar Program, creating human-Na’vi hybrids. A human who shares genetic material with an avatar can link to it, allowing them to control it while their own body ‘sleeps’. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is a former Marine who was paralyzed below the waist in combat on Earth. His twin brother was a scientist working in the Avatar Program. When Jake’s brother is killed, Jake takes his place because he is compatible with his brother’s avatar.

While Jake is escorting Augustine through the jungle the group is attacked by a large predator, and Jake becomes separated from the others, forcing them to leave him behind for the night. Jake attempts to survive in his avatar body, fending off dangerous creatures. This attracts the attention of a female Na’vi named Neytiri (Zoë Saldaña), who rescues Jake. Though troubled by Jake’s recklessness she takes him to the Na’vi Hometree, the spiritual and geographical home of her clan. The Na’vi decide to teach Jake their ways.

As Jakes learns more about the Na’vi and their way of life he increasingly finds his life as an Avatar to be reality, and his life as a human marine to be ‘a dream’. He also falls in love with Neytiri who is his mentor. Things become all the more complicated as the human quest for wealth begins to have deadly consequences for the Na’vi. In the end Jake must make his choice between the human life he was born into, and the Na’vi life he has learned to love.

The story itself is a timeless one which, in essence, boils down to a story of love between two people divided by race and culture.  Some have said that the visual elements of the film overshadow the storyline and characters, that the story is thin an vapid. But I would argue that Cameron has once again created a story that is simple rather than simplistic, and it is the way that the story is told that draws the audience into the film. It definitely has the feel of a fairy tale.

In Pandora Cameron has created a visual masterpiece. And it is this masterpiece that takes centre stage in the film. In fact Pandora is possibly one of the most important members of the cast. It creates an almost magical backdrop within which the cast can play out their story. And whilst none of the roles are particularly demanding of the actors, it is worth giving a few mentions. Sam Worthington does well as Jake Sulley. He has definitely put himself on the map over the last year or two, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of him over the next few years. In fact he seems to be in almost every action movie of 2010. Sigourney Weaver is excellent as Dr. Grace Augustine. She brings depth to a role where she almost certainly didn’t have a whole lot to work with. Stephen Lang plays a pretty mean bad guy. And lastly Zoë Saldaña is excellent as Neytiri.

All in all Avatar is a definite must see. In fact it’s a film that you will probably find yourself watching more than once. I know I will.