Avatar has received a lot of criticism for its dialog and lack of character depth. While I don't necessarily agree with this, I did find a few lines that felt out of place or wrong. But there were also few great lines and exchanges of dialog and expression. My apologies if I don't have these exactly word for word. Here's my list:
Bad Lines, No Biscuit!
- "We will fight terror with terror." -- Possibly one of the most out of place lines in the entire film. Project 880 (the scriptment) sheds light on why this was said, but it is hopelessly out of place in the final film. Also to many it is a Bush-ism, and nobody wants that guy soiling their Pandoran fantasy!
- "That's right, you're mine now." -- Jake once he establishes Tsahaylu with his Ikran. I personally believe the bond is more of a symbiotic one, in which Na'vi and animal share emotion and feeling. The Na'vi may control the animal through the connection, I assume because of the greater intelligence and will of the Na'vi, but even for an ex-Marine human, I felt this line sounded dominating and out of place. Were I to rewrite the script, this would have went: "Easy now, we are one."
- "Some kind of shock and awe campaign." -- Dr. Max Patel over a video link, telling the Avatar crew about Quaritch's mobilization. Another cringe moment in dialog. We know that Quaritch is just chomping at the bit to use his military force, but wouldn't it have worked to simply say something like, "He's planning on overwhelming them." We didn't need another Bush-ism verbatim.
Good Lines, Here's a Treat!
- "Outstanding!" -- Jake responding after Neytiri tells him that he will know he has found the right Ikran if it tries to kill him. The way he said it and his expression are just great.
- "Check this out! .... Crap!" -- Jake getting a little ahead of himself on the Pa'li, first telling Neytiri to watch, then immediately falling off.
- "I've got to take some samples." -- Dr. Augustine as she's brought before the Tree of Souls. While the line was somewhat predictable, she says it convincingly and despite the intended humor I felt bad that she was dying. A classic example of how a talented actress can take "okay" dialog and make it great.