I wrote this on 1/02/10. Like anyone cares.
According to the trailers, after this movie “movies will never be the same”. Kind of a stretch, but it was action packed and had a decent storyline, which is as follows:
Earth. 2150ish. Our home planet has been destroyed by, what I assume, global warming. In order to continue collecting the only thing that matters to our existence, money, humans invade the peacefully barbaric world of Pandora (Get it? Get it? Like Pandora’s Box?) in order to obtain “unobtainium” (sp?), which is some futuristic mineral that is worth a lot and has nothing to do with the story other than as a plot device
The humanoid creatures that live on the planet are called the Na’vi, and like hell they’ll give up their planet for a bunch of tiny sky monkeys! Though they are 15 or so feet tall and are awesome in a one-on-one fight, the Na’vi routinely get their asses stomped by the human’s guns and high-grade explosives.
Enter the Avatars. Avatars are lab grown Na’vi that can be remotely controlled through the mind of a human, much like the Matrix, to help humans study the lives of the natives. When one of the research scientists dies, the team calls in his wheelchair bound Marine twin (apparently, Avatars are connected through DNA or some such bullshit), to navigate one of the Avatars so the scientific mission could continue. Then story then takes the obvious turns, as seen in Stargate, Lawrence of Arabia, and other stories of this nature I cannot remember. The protagonist “goes native”, falls in love with a different species, has hot alien sex, rebels against the morals of his own race and lives forever amidst the simple lives of his new tribe (though this last part did not happen in Lawrence of Arabia. Nor the hot alien sex.)
The story is interesting enough to hold my attention as earth-like carnivores and herbivores tear shit up and the protagonist climbs vines and mounts dragons, but barely. The predictability of it hardly allows the audience to think beyond the extreme “humans are assholes who destroy environments”. The gray area of international relations, differing climates, cultures, religious systems are ignored for the sake of the extreme. However, the eyecandy is great, especially when one of the Na’vi fights five or six humans with his badass fifteen foot self.
If you want to see a story of “going native” with environmental themes, see Princess Mononoke, but see this film as well, because it’s big, explosion driven and, once again, has fifteen foot badasses.
As a final note, Digital 3D is cool, but it hurts my eyes!