Well, it was raining as we went to see Avatar. I don't know what else to say that hasn't been said before. It's Dances With Wolves in outer space with blue people. It's a "white man's guilt" story, although I see it a little less than some (but, yeah, that bell rings pretty loud).
The mercenaries are fairly well stock characters from central casting. Including the whole Gen. Haig, "I'm in charge now," schtick. The well meaning scientists, also fairly well stock, although Sigourney Weaver sells it. And the non-attached business manager with his conflicted emotions, stock again. The characterization had me rolling my eyes a few times.
The scenery is fantastic. The 3D effect helps, somewhat. Although it doesn't work all the time (at least for me), it also makes it a fuzzier image overall. There's enough plot holes to fly that landing craft through. Like, after spending all that money on the avatar bodies, you can add a $10 GPS device? Also, as a marine on guard duty and he wanders off as he does, and then doesn't check 6? Umm. Well, I did notice in the credits there were a few military consultants. Somebody didn't get their point across.
The world is fully developed. A little too much wish fulfillment, and very much based on under sea organisms, but worth seeing in 3D. Although I think a lot of the "OMG that's a long way down" scenes were just an inverse of the old 3D schtick more than anything else. Like how he falls down so far at the waterfall, then chases the girl a little ways, and is up way above another deep waterfall.
There were a lot of things done in the plot for no other reason than to "increase tension," including the action in the final battle scenes. What I really don't understand, though, is that it always comes down to a fist fight. And really, considering that they wrote the colonel as such a tough ass (which, okay, I liked even if he was the bad guy), why did he commit to that fight? Hello, superior weaponry and all you've gotta do is break the damn glass to eliminate the threat. Sorry, it's like when the hero has the upper-hand in the battle and then decides to throw away his advantage to "fight fair" and duke it out. Naw. Not that colonel. Didn't fit the profile. I also had some major problems with the other parts of the battle, but I won't ruin it for you. They make things go all 'splody. The kids like it. The ending had a problem, like, hey, there's this really expensive thing there and you don't have a backup troop you can hire to go in a take it? Hell, just mass drive the shit out of the place from orbit. I know, I know, then we wouldn't have our feel good ending.
But, all and all, for the eye candy, it was worth seeing on the big screen and in 3D.