Posted on 8/30/10 10:44 AM
The problem with this movie is not just the simplistic plot and reliance on fancy-type CGI to make it exciting. The biggest problem here is the characters. Throughout the movie, the characters are almost completely static, especially, in particular Sam Worthington's character.
In the beginning of the movie, Jake Sully is a belligerent jarhead marine. The movie emphasizes this in particular. However, this NEVER CHANGES. He just keeps on plodding through the plot with the same reckless, childish attitude, and never really faces any consequences to his actions. He even tackles the biggest beastie in the sky and redeems himself by way of his most reckless action yet. He goes from being a belligerent jearhead marine to being a belligerent jarhead environmentalist alien. There was a point early on in the movie when he was taunting the rhino-esque creature like an ICP fan loaded up on cheap powdered coffee. I seriously wanted to plant a foot square in his noggin at that point.
Normally this wouldn't be THAT big of a problem, but this was the very flaw that was emphasized as something that should be overcome. Yet, throughout the movie, he encounters very few real consequences to his actions.
Of course, the movie isn't outright horrible. (though the fanboys who attack with bloodthirsty fervor at the first sign of criticism make me want to say it is; such is the problem with decent movies, they're a fun watch, but the fanboys always come along and ruin it all) The CGI is remarkably well done, and the battle scenes(though it takes the first two thirds of the movie before the damned thing finally happens) are decent. I can give Cameron the benefit of the doubt considering he penned the plot in 1994, at which point it was probably a lot more original than it is now, when plenty of movies have beat him to the chase.
Ultimately, it's a well-made movie with an original setting, driven by half-backed characters and a plot that's been done before. In an age where half the high-ranking movies are adaptations, that's something to be praised, I suppose.