Here's the trailer, which pretty much tells the whole story:
Breath-taking visuals. Seriously. Just truly awe-inspiring. A good thing too, as the incredible sensory optics are needed to trump the knuckle-dragging dialog. Who knew that in the year 2154 stereotypical military-types are still using such W. phrases as "Shock and awe" and fighting terror with...wait for it....terror.
The story? Dripping with irony and modern day comparisons. The lush and beautiful world of Pandora is a hotbed for a mineral highly sought after on our dying Earth. We've made our way to their world to obtain the precious rock, but need to protect ourselves behind a "green zone". Apparently the inhabitants of this gorgeous world are rather protective of their environment and use guerrilla tactics against the military to keep them at bay.
To coordinate a more diplomatic solution, human and Na'avi DNA are melded into clone material that can be controlled via an elaborate mind-meld. The creatures are "avatars" of the controllers. This way, humans can more readily interact with the locals and "convince" them to relocate so we can mine their precious mineral.
A Marine grunt paraplegic whose twin brother scientist has died is transferred to the Avatar program since his DNA is so compatible. He's charged with using this new skill to infiltrate the locals and "convince" them to relocate. As he spends more time with the locals, he inevitably sees the errors of his military's ways, falls in love, and eventually leads the locals against the humans.
Dances with Wolves + the Smurfs + the Iraq War + Al Gore. The human becomes immersed in the foreign customs, thereby attempting to make a social statement against war and the urbanization of greenery.
Dialog dripping with cheese overcome by FANTASTIC visuals. Still, the 3-D experience made it an EASY FULL PRICE rating. It readily overcame the script and cheap metaphors. A cinematic delight.