Movie Review: Avatar (Mild Spoiler Alert).
Visually innovative, narratively derivative.
You've never seen anything like this. But you've heard the story before.
Even with the hype and the twelve-year hiatus from features, director James Cameron exceeds expectations in making a visually arresting filmic experience. Please see this in 3-D. You will be transported to another time and place. After all, the film is set on "Pandora" in 2154. You wouldn't expect to see the same things seen on Earth, such as a large ship or a diamond necklace.
However, the saga of the Na'vi thinly veils the story of Native Americans and other indigenous peoples (complete with attendant spirituality). Writer Cameron does creatively introduce a hitherto overlooked aspect into the narrative--a paraplegic protagonist in an action movie.
Despite some anachronisms and an overlong battle scene at the end (and generally), the movie delivers what others can't: a truly innovative visual experience.