When his twin brother is killed, disabled ex-Marine Jake Sully is recruited to aid a mining expedition on the distant jungle moon of Pandora as only his DNA will bond with the alien hybrid body, known as an Avatar, that allows humans to breathe the toxic air. With orders to infiltrate the Na’vi, Jake finds himself falling in love with native girl, Neytiri, and complications soon ensue…
It was already the biggest film of all time, but for the three people who missed it on the big screen and the millions of fans, the good news is that this swiftly-released Special Edition is less cash-in and more treat. Eight (or so) minutes of extra footage have been added into the film, landing in four main scenes. There’s an extended journey into the forest on Jake’s (Worthington) first trip outside as an avatar, including a visit to the abandoned school where Grace (Sigourney Weaver) once taught the Na’vi.
After that comes a much more bombastic hunt scene, for which think The Lion King’s stampede scene if the antelopes weighed a couple of tons and there were hunters on dragons chasing them. It’s followed by a much-discussed but entirely inconsequential few extra seconds added to the alien sex scene.
We also see a short snippet of the Na’vi attacking the bulldozers following the attack on the Tree of Voices, which ties in to Quarritch’s (Lang) decision to push forward with the attack on the Tree of Souls. Finally, a fairly major character gets a protracted, but poignant, death scene. None of it is essential, plot-wise, but it adds a little more excitement and colour to your Pandoran stay.
Worth watching for fans, completists and anyone who missed it on the big screen first time around - but it won't win over any haters.