The special effects push the envelope visually and the acting is solid. The screenplay does not use any source material like books, graphic novels or even toylines… though all these elements will surely spawn from this film. The screenplay does use familiar archetypes, ideological themes, and familiar story elements from Pocahontas, The Matrix, and Dances With Wolves, so the “good vs. evil” showdowns, romantic triangle (Neytiri’s fiancé Tsu’tey completes the trio), and culture shocks/discoveries feel familiar. This screenplay meshes technology with extraordinary native life as spiritual and environmental messages permeate the plot. Jake’s progression within the Na’vi culture leads audiences through important elements, which lead to the intense and inevitable climax, which resolves the immediate conflicts while the ending leaves the series open for future adventures.
Composer James Horner delivers an amazing score and collaborates on the original song "I Will See You" performed by Leona Lewis, heard during the ending credits. The music, special effects, and unique scenarios helps elevate the plot to a strong level, though Cameron needs a minimal visual background scene (combined with the existing supporting character dialogue), which elaborates environmental/resource troubles on Earth for a more complete, objective overview of the humans and the Na’vi. Cameron explains logistical information well (e.g. the special breathing apparatus equipment on Pandora described in character dialogue) and punctuates the action with strong emotional scenes. This solid, recommended film has a two hour and 42 minute running time and is rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences, warfare, sensuality, language, and some smoking. Also showing in IMAX and 3D theaters.
Cameron plans another action extravaganza called Battle Angel, based on the graphic novels, next while Avatar sequels seem likely and would cover more Na’vi territory beyond Pandora.