This is what I look like when I am inhabiting my Sexiest Man Alive avatar when visiting Planet Stud.
The more I think about Avatar, and the further removed I am from the visual extravaganza, the less I like it. James Cameron raised a real dilemma in this movie, and then totally dropped the ball in its ethical resolution. And no, I'm not talking about the cartoonish portrayal of imperialist money grubbing. I'm talking about the choice facing Jake Sully: the choice between reality and virtual reality. It's the dilemma we're slapped in the face with every time Mr. Macho Marine tells Sully that if he does a good job, he'll make sure he gets his legs back. Sully, of course, as part of his Na'vi avatar, already has full use of his legs (and a bitchin' tail!). The clear implication -- and one that is borne out later in the movie -- is that it makes no sense to choose reality when one can have a better, happier virtual reality.
So ... do you believe that?
That, to me, is where the real debate about this film ought to be occurring. Who is Sully? Is he the wheelchair-bound Marine vet, or is he the nimble Na'vi hero/warrior? In a world in which the lines between fantasy and reality are increasingly blurred, it behooves us to answer that question for ourselves.