[This article was written in December 2009]
James Cameron has always been a visionary director, since he burst onto an unsuspecting world with The Terminator in 1984.
At $6million, that movie was anticipated by almost nobody; the big film of that Orwellian year was Dune - at $40million, the most expensive film ever made.
Fast forward to 2009, and Cameron returns from more than a decade in the film-making wilderness to deliver his most expensive, ambitious film yet.
It's rare for any movie to live up to they hype these days, and at a cost of $300million, the critics were sharpening their quills to stab at the self proclaimed king of the world. Comparisons to Ferngully and Halo were rife, but Avatar quickly buries those small minded, trite
jibes; this is the real deal, and every penny of its price tag is up there on the big screen.
The 3D is as immersive as you'd hope from any big screen blockbuster which requests grown men and women sit in chilly cinemas looking like refugees from the golden era of the 1950s - akarather ridiculous. James Cameron's script might not be the most polished in the world, but on a comic book, teenage level it works wonders, and it's hard not to be gripped by some of the best action scenes committed to celluloid.
Will it make it's money back? Only time will tell.*
However, for one 41-year-old who has grown up loving most of Cameron's work, the fact i could quite happily sit through the movie again a couple of hours after watching it suggests it will make a pile of cash from repeat business.
Do yourself a favour, get to the biggest cinema screening it with a pair of 3D glasses, sit back and enjoy the ride.
For once you can believe the hype.
* To date Avatar has grossed more than $2.7billion worldwide.