Destruction in ‘Avatar’ makes tense drama

Pic's finale rivals Cameron's work in 'Titanic'

For the sequence in “Avatar” most similar in sheer jaw-dropping spectacle to the sinking of the RMS Titanic, look no further than the destruction of Hometree. The big difference: Whereas audiences could anticipate the finale of James Cameron’s last blockbuster, this scene catches them off-guard. The film sets up a massive battle between Pandora’s resource-hungry human invaders and its blue-skinned natives, but rather than serving as the finale, the showdown comes relatively early in the story, with the greedy military forces launching powerful explosives into its root system while the outmatched Na’vi attempt to protect their habitat with bows and arrows. The sight of the ancient tree crashing down is devastating to behold, preceded by a poetic rain of leaves evocative of the eco-conscious anime by such artists as Hayao Miyazaki, and serves to cement leading man Jake Sully’s decision to help the Na’vi defend against their alien invaders.

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