I rather like that Neytiri, not Jake, defeats the villain at the end. It's a nice subversion of our expectations of the princess in peril.
I think that's unsurprising, because Cameron is that somewhat rare blockbuster director who is actually much better at writing women than men.
Agreed; especially when it comes to action heroines (Aliens
and Terminator 2: Judgment Day
being the best and most obvious examples).