I saw it today, and all I can say is, it was one of, if not the, best movie I’ve seen this year. Things have been a bit slow, of course, but I highly recommend it.
I didn’t see anything ‘new agey’ in it. The aliens (Na’vi) seem to be animists, which I don’t think really qualifies as new age. All around, they do hold some similarities to the American Indians in this and other ways.
(Slight, but nothing at all major, spoilers ahead)
Someone above states that they don’t like the humans, or the Americans, being the bad guys… well, I ask that you look around you, and then return and tell me that the human race isn’t capable of doing bad things. In the film the humans want to get to a precious metal, ‘Unobtainium’, and the largest vein of this happens to be under the alien village. And so they are overtaken by greed, a nasty but very real thing, to try and force the aliens to move or die.
The Avatars referred to in the title are bodies, with half human and half alien DNA. The humans get into a machine and are allowed to live in this body. When they go to sleep in the alien body, they return to their human body, and vice versa. The Avatars are used as ambassadors/spies by the humans, teaching the aliens to speak English and slowly implanting human culture into them.
The main character of the film ends up becoming one of them, and turning on the humans. He falls in love with one of the aliens as well. In the end, all is well, and he fully rejects his human body and becomes a ‘full time’ alien.
The new agey stuff, as you call it, is really something like the Force in Star Wars, you never really see it, but it is every where.
So, what is the message of this film? Greed drives us to do horrible things, greed leads us to destroy our world, and after that, greed leads us to try and destroy others. So perhaps it can be called anti-greed, even anti-war, but then again, no one in their right mind should be pro-greed or pro-war, now should they?
All in all, a five out of five. Go out and see it.