Writer-Director James Cameron spent five years developing the technology with which to produce his childhood dream project, Avatar, and with it has come enough hype and press to bring the skeptic out in many of us. Fortunately for him, and us, Mr. Cameron delivers.

If you choose not to see this movie because of the hype surrounding it, you’ll miss out on what might be the most visually exciting adventure since the Lord of the Rings films. Avatar is one of those films that you walk out of wanting more, wanting to be a part of it, wanting some of it to be real.

The story is fairly trite, yet told in a beautiful and compelling way. The world of Pandora, on the other hand, is as creatively inspired as the Star Wars universe—and then some. It effortlessly sucks you in and makes you want to be there, and together with the quick pace in which Avatar progresses you’ll quickly find yourself not simply watching a movie, but participating in an experience.

Sam Worthington’s portrayal of Jake Sully and his Na’vi avatar, with which he starts living among an indigenous Na’vi clan, firmly establishes itself as the ongoing highlight of the movie, but the supporting cast with great roles by Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Worthington’s Na’vi counterpart Zoe Saldana ensures that this movie is about the people on both sides of the conflict on Pandora, and not simply a showcase of an actor or actress’s talent.

With Avatar, James Cameron sets a new standard of cinematic storytelling and special effects—one well worth watching, at that.

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