Rated 2.0

Another decade, another most expensive movie ever. And yes, writer-director-world-king James Cameron’s new extravaganza is a cultural milestone, but its flashy technical breakthroughs will be obviated soon enough, leaving behind only the dated embarrassments of some pretty dreary storytelling. Sam Worthington plays a paraplegic ex-Marine on a distant world who—with help from Sigourney Weaver, as the scientist who lends him an alien body to drive, and Zoe Saldana, as the aboriginal princess who gets him going native—decides to fend off the encroachments of human warmongers and corporate raiders (typified, respectively and cheesily, by Stephen Lang and Giovanni Ribisi). Call it Pocahontas Dances With Wolves with Aliens and fellow Smurfish skinny feline noble savages in the FernGully new world, and call it a day. And for a more imaginative film about besieged creatures living under a big tree, see Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.