Going into a movie with high expectations often sets you up for disappointment, and that's how I feel about Avatar, which I saw today. I'm not much of a reviewer, but here's my two bits on the movie:
First, I'll give credit where credit is due. The visuals in the movie are absolutely stunning - anyone planning on seeing the movie should see it in 3D. I don't know how long James Cameron spent working on those aspects of the movie, but the time he spent on it showed. The visuals weren't overdone, either - parts of the movie that should have stuck out did, but they didn't get too far into your face. The CG sequences seemed to mesh seamlessly with the live action sequences as well - in short, watching the movie was a treat.
The problem, however, lies in the characters written into the movie - they weren't fleshed out nearly enough. The antagonist in the movie was one dimensional, the quintessential bad, stupid, career military fool, and the company hack was a fool as well, written to have no conscience. Painting an antagonist as stupid is not necessarily a problem, but even a stupid person is multi-dimensional. Cameron's protagonist wasn't.
Even Sigourny Weaver's character didn't seem real by any stretch of the imagination - her talent was wasted on a character badly written. The character seemed to start hard and crusty, but turned into a nice, kind person at some other points in the movie, without any reason to do so. The character was out of character.
Coming into the movie, I didn't want to believe the average critic's review giving the movie 2.5 stars. I unfortunatley now must agree with those critics. Without the visuals, the movie would probably have struggled to get two stars.