I liked Avatar, and I am not even sure why (despite my having a few weeks to think about it). It charmed me. I liked Jake, (Sam Worthington) the broken main character. He’s physically broken (his disability), emotionally weak (easily manipulated by Stephen Lang, the bad marine), and not much of a marine himself (he almost gets himself and his party killed on his first patrol).
Sure, the movie moves forward in a predictable fashion, borrowing from many other movies, and doesn’t even offer us a single good line of dialog for posterity (“I see you.” Gah, how awful). But none of that matters.
The point is watching a mope like Jake turn his circumstances around. This movie reminds me of Rocky. It’s not like Rocky is good because it was the first sports movie to feature an unlikely underdog who came from behind–it’s interesting because Stallone plays such an utterly luckless, shambling clod who must rise above his circumstances.
And none of this takes away from the criticisms people are making about Avatar’s plot, the slim characters, etc. Much of that is true. I wish it would have explored identity with a little more depth and meaning. But it had enough good to win me over.
I found it interesting that Jake had to abandon his body to become more human. I hope they do a little more with the plot in future installments.
It was also very beautiful.
A friend of mine said it’s just a shame he couldn’t have seen this when he was twelve. I completely agree. Aaron and I saw it opening day. Halfway through, he turned to me and whispered, “Thanks for bringing me to see this, Dad.”
My pleasure., son. My pleasure.