Avatar is a stunning animated 3D trip to another world that will keep you entertained for the full 2.5 hours. But you’ve heard all this before by now.
The 3D is superb without transgressing on the use of the obvious 3D effects. Well at least there aren’t many transgressions. The few transgressions are done seamlessly as part of the overall scene. The more impressive 3D effects are the ones done in background to the scene, covering the screen from full left to full right. Be sure to take your eyes off the main human characters in several of the scenes and take a tour of the room they’re in.
The imaginary world James Cameron creates in the nearly unlimited world of computer generated animation is at times as equally beautiful as the 3D is superb. Avatar is comparable to Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in its depth of beauty.
The story itself is weak, serving only as a vehicle to deliver the visual images. The story can be simplistically compared to James Cameron’s earlier work, The Abyss. A single-minded person is focused on only one thing, completing the mission despite any consequences (enough redundancies in one sentence?). That person is defeated by an unlikely hero helped by otherworldly creatures he’s befriended. Other comparisons can be made, such as the floating jelly fish like things in The Abyss which follow a similar theme as the floating seeds in Avatar. In some ways The Abyss is a better story. But that shouldn’t stop you from seeing Avatar.
Finally, there’s a subtle message in the movie. Everything in the world is interconnected. If one part dies, the rest will eventually die with it. We’re both the people who can destroy it and the Avatars who can save it.