I saw Avatar in 3D about a week ago. And wow. I have to commend James Cameron for creating such a visual feast. The alien planet Pandora is a conceptual beauty. The flora and fauna in the film are exotic and colorful in a way that reminds me of a coral reef. The jungle pulses with light from the electricity that connects the entire planet, which Dad mentioned was a beautiful way to physically show the connectivity in nature. I really recommend seeing the film in 3D. I took my glasses on and off periodically to compare to 2D and it just wasn't the same. Even the previews were more engaging.
As for the storyline, it was engaging, though somewhat predictable. Watching the main character perform tasks to become part of the native people reminded me of other movies where Indian tribes took in a white man and showed them their ways. I admit while Neytiri (alien girl guide) was guiding Jake (crippled Marine turned alien) through the forest I instantly thought of Pocahantas and had "Colors of the Wind" playing in the back of my mind.
The theme was just as cliche: corporate greed is bad, living in humble harmony with the nature is good, environmentalism for the win. Every detail the movie reflected that. The army base was gray, bare, and cold. The Pandora jungle was alive, bright, and light. The majority of the humans were manipulative businessmen, cruel unthinking soldiers, or weak scientists. The only hero humans were those who lived partly as natives. However, the natives were happy, pure, brave, and peaceful. Even the natives are more interesting in terms of looks. They're blue and light up! Almost everything human is negative while on the flipside everything on Pandora is positive. Given only these two views, the emotional support clearly goes for the pretty blue people over the destructive humans.
Clearly the aim of the movie was to draw parallels between the destruction of Pandora and the destruction of Earth. At one point in the movie Jake is talking to Ehwa (the natives deity, AKA Mother Nature) and says something along the lines of, "There's no green where I come from. We've killed it all, and now we're here doing the same thing." Later on Ehwa literally fights back by sicking wild animals on the human army. By the end of the movie all things industrial, business, and human are forgone for running around in the woods with spears.
Awful themes, but excellent visually. I suggest everyone see it (in 3D!), but keep your brain on.