Avatar is a great looking movie to be sure.   It’s in 3-D and the CGI and the designs are the shit, but the story elements include almost nothing you’ve never seen before.

In a nutshell, the “company” goes to Padora, a jungle planet full of peaceful natives who are alien versions of American Indians.  They live in harmony with the land, while the humans dig holes to mine, get this, unobtainium.  It’s basically anti-gravity rock, I guess.  Anyhow, the natives are living on the biggest deposit (of course) and the bad guys want to send Jake Sully, handicapped marine, in with the natives to negotiate.  Of course, negotiations aren’t really serious and the company wants what it wants.  Jake goes native and if you can’t write the rest, you obviously never saw Dances with Wolves.

I don’t think there was a line of dialogue that rang genuine or a character that wasn’t completely cartoony.  Maybe the pilot chick, but that was about it.   Despite the insane budget, the movie is kind of boring.  The visuals bring you in, but the story pushes you away.  I sat in the theater thinking to myself, “All right, I get it.  The marines are bad, the natives are good, can we move this along please?”

It’s three hours, bros, and while the final fight scene is pretty cool, it’s a long road to get there.  The script just feels weak all around.  That’s not to say it’s an awful movie, but I doubt you’ll walk away quoting any lines or wondering what it would be like to live on Pandora.  Some of the moments that have to be foreshadowed are hammered in.  I’m with you on the politics, James, but c’mon.  A little nuance would’ve really sold it.  Dances with Wolves felt like a real journey, Avatar felt like it was rushed.  And you want to talk about Avatarded, there’s a scene in the movie where a robot pulls out a knife and threatens “the girl”.  What is this?  1972?  The third act of a Rockford Files episode?  Why not just have the finally chase end in an amusement park?

I don’t think you’ll walk away feeling ripped off, but I think you feel a bit like, “Eh, it was okay” if you see this movie.  I mean, for 3-D, you really have to go to the theater.   Everyone else I went with kinda like this, but I have to give it a 4 out of 10 keggers.  Camerons a genius, but Avatar falls short for me.