Posted on 12/21/09 11:02 AM
I saw this movie at 12AM Friday morning. I've spent the weekend digesting this movie. I'm still going the movie a 9 out of 10. It would have received a perfect score if it wasn't for one aspect of the movie. Get to that in a minute. However overall I personally consider this movie to be virtually flawless. The characters are interesting. The environment and CGI is completely jaw dropping. It very much is a game changer just as Terminator 2, LOTR, etc were. We will see things we have never seen before thinks to the work done with Avatar.
And the story. People have been complaining about the story. Yes. Avatar is using themes from other stories. Dances with Wolves? Pocahontas? FernGully? Aliens? Abyss? Yes its all there. Its the skeleton of the movie, however its not the meat of the story and really isn't a knockoff of any one specific movie. It isn't the most original, but very much good enough to get the job done and to keep people entertained.
Where the movie did lack was simple character development. Yes when we got into the heart of the story we start to see more of Jake "growing" as a character. However Quaritch, Chacon, Grace Augustine, and Norm. All major characters and we know NOTHING about them as we start climaxing. I don't mind not knowing much about the Na'vi themselves. This puts the audience in the same boat as the human characters. And yes I understand that Jake and Neytiri are the core players in this movie.
However, IMHO, if you are going to have an impact on the audience, you need them to give a shit about your characters. The only character that remotely got away with this was Sigourney Weaver's character: Grace. And that was ONLY because we know the actress.
Honestly I think an extra 10-15 minutes could have done this with character interaction prior to Jake arriving on Pandora. I liken it to the cut scene from Aliens where we get to see the base before they are overrun. Expand on something like that. See the interaction and the characters. These support characters just did not have enough screen time to really make them influential in the story.
But beyond that. Virtually flawless.