My husband and I finally saw Avatar last night. The long and the short of it is, that Daniel really liked it and I was sort of "eh" about the whole thing.
Technologically, it was a masterpiece. The CGI was astoundingly real and the whole makeup of the fictional world of Pandora was sight to behold.
But it comes down to the story, I had more mixed reactions.
But while it highlighted that issue, it did it in a very surfacy way. The native population of Pandora, the Na'vi were basically perfect people- they all were attractive and thin, they were in tune with nature and there wasn't a bad one among them. Maybe it's me, but I like some gray in my heroes and villians. The Na'vi were so good, it was hard to really relate to them at all. Maybe there was a reason that a recent parody of Avatar on South Park made the Na'vi into Smurfs- they were about as annoyingly perfect.
But maybe what really bothered me about the movie was the lack of hope for humanity. There was not sense of redemption. The Earth of the future was a horrible place of war and ecological devastation. Save for the scientists, the bulk of the humans on Pandora were basically savages and at the end of the movie the are defeated, but unchanged.
I'm not as upset as some conservatives are about the implied pantheism- people are entitled to their spiritual viewpoints. But I wanted more nuance and gray in this movie. As E.D. Kain notes in a post today, a movie like The Mission, dealt far more in the grays of life and gave a fuller picture of the good and bad of humanity than Avatar ever did.
So, I chalk this up as an okay movie. It wasn't a waste of my three hours, but I did want something a bit more hopeful.