I put off seeing this as long as I could, but finally got pinned to the wall with my eyelids held open a-la-Clockwork Orange and relented.
This film did not make me want to kill myself, just push James Cameron down a flight of stairs, similar to how I felt after he ruined the mystique of the tragedy of the Titanic. The "look" of Avatar, and the amazing things they have done with CGI are truly amazing.
The rest of the film was pretty much rubbish, IMO. Every scientist wore a white hat. Every member of the military wore a black hat, espoused in grand style by the portrayal of their leader--a glaringly obvious homage to roid rage riddled Vince McMahon, except for the soldiers who had the "courage" to rebel against their own. Cliched, tired, and a story you've heard a thousand times before. But then, I'm reviewing this movie so late the damage is already done--unless it becomes a trilogy.
Two and a half stars. Technical and artistic magnificence torpedoed by juvenile political cliches.
the script could've been written by a 10 year old girl. and it probably was. the plot was the equivalent of beating a dead horse. the characters were - as you said - horribly cliche. but the effects were amazing though. i saw it in imax 3-D and it was incredible. i'll never watch it again - unless it comes back to the theaters in imax 3-D - but it was well worth the cost of admission if you ask me. your critique is right on.