What it made me think of —
–all of those movies like Hombre where the infiltrator takes on the values of the alien society
–Gunga Din, the noble savage dying nobly
–how much better a filmmaker Miyazaki is, and his delicious visual palate when the subject is the beauty and vulnerability of the earth
–cowboys and Indians and how great a director was John Ford
–every ordinary war movie and some really good ones that have this one beat (Das Boot, Galipoli, Empire of the Sun, Casablanca)
–Apocalypse Now (Duvall coming in to beat down the savages)
–Alien with Sigourney Weaver holding her own among the testosterone
–Titanic, and other disaster movies on an epic scale (the big tree standing in for the big boat)
–adolescent boys’ fantasies and little boys’ miniature soldier sets and GI Joe
–Star Wars and the disappointment of watching a conventional war movie.
What I really like about movies is the human part, and how good acting can tell a story simply. But first you have to suspend your disbelief and see the characters and situations as believable. These characters were wooden, reciting familiar lines (“They are fighting modern warfare with bows and arrows!”). While watching what I was most aware of was how expensive and long the movie was.
I guess that James Cameron wanted to do what Kevin Costner did in Dances with Wolves. Okay. So that is why the movie feels so flimsy and so expensive at the same time.