I loved Avatar. Great movie, great special effects, and hey, that military dude was hot!
But, a friend (Grace. Yes, I am talking to you) mentioned to me that the plot was just like Dances with Wolves. And Pocahontas, and Fern Gully, and a variety of other films where the militant Americans ruin the forest/indigenous culture. And you know what, she was right! And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that even the subplot was just like Dances with Wolves, and it's a good thing I am here to break down the whole thing down, you lucky reader you!
Spoiler alerts abound in here, so be warned.
You start with a suicidal, honored, military man looking for a change. Check.
Goes to an unknown frontier. Check.
Mingles with locals, initially distrusted, especially by an alpha male type figure who REALLY doesn't like him. Check, check. We all remember "Wind in his hair" I hope.
Learns the way of the culture, and starts to prefer it to his own. Keeps a diary of events, which is eventually used against him. Uh, check!
Get's busy with a native. Check. (okay, so no creepy hair mind/meld thing in Dances with Wolves, but you get the point.)
Tries to protect the indigenous culture, but ends up bringing those nasty Americans right to them anyways.
Half the people/animals you liked so much, end up dying. Check. (I always fast forwarded through that part in Dances w/Wolves when they killed the horse and the wolf. Bastards)
You leave the theater simultaneously liking the movie, and hating yourself. And, check.
The only thing missing from Avatar was gratuitous shots of Kevin Costner's butt. It's very unfortunate that they left that part out.