In 1994, James “Jim” Cameron’s “True Lies” opened worldwide. He brainstormed a fully detailed blueprint under “Avatar” based on his fondness for old school adventure novels such as “John Carter,” “Tarzan” & “Allan Quatermain.” Jim intended to make his epic with computer animated characters. Realizing the project lacks innovate technology, Jim puts Avatar on hold in favor of a less complicated project, “Titanic.” After the film won “Best Picture” and earned Jim an Oscar for “Best Director,” he resumed development of Avatar while filming documentaries underwater. He’s into scuba diving as depicted in “Ghosts of the Abyss” & “Aliens of the Deep.” Jim couldn’t make “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” for obvious reasons.
Avatar was officially released in 2009. (same year Coraline came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. In addition to praise, the film became the highest grossing film of all time earning $2.9 billion from its original theatrical run and re-releases. Avatar won a Golden Globe for “Best Drama.” Jim’s ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Oscar for “Best Director” and “The Hurt Locker” won “Best Picture.” Pretty shocking a film from 2008 won Best Picture instead of Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen.” An actual Best Picture winner.
Avatar spawned merchandise ranging from action figures, an upcoming video game titled, Frontiers of Pandora,” novels and a Pandora-based area located at Disney World in Florida. After thirteen years of development, “Avatar: The Way of Water” will finally be released on December 16th. In response to the lengthy developed sequel, I wanna share my thoughts on the most painfully average film I have ever seen in my life. If The Way of Water manages to break even earning $2 billion, Jim will possibly make more sequels.
This review contains no SPOILERS whatsoever. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Beautiful & Ugly Aspects
Beautiful: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez & Giovanni Ribisi all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
James “Jim” Cameron did a solid job only on the technical aspects. He also made the Na’vi language.
Jim stated the film’s influenced by “Ghost in the Shell,” the works of Hayao Miyazaki, “2001: A Space Odyssey” & “Lawrence of Arabia.”
Special Effects pioneer Stan Winston (may he Rest in Peace) helped Jim developed cutting edge effects perfecting Motion Capture and building Pandora’s immersive world. The technology earns Bonus Points for taking me on a fun 3-D ride.
James Horner (Aliens, The Mask of Zorro, Troy) orchestrated the soundtrack.
Cinematography captures Pandora’s in-depth imagery. Makes you wanna explore the planet’s wildlife.
Primary Themes are Capitalism, Race, Civilization & Spirituality. Each one’s handled carefully.
The Climatic Battle is worth the price of admission.
Ugly: Even though Jim & Stan did a spectacular job solely on technical aspects, the former however, made a few boo boos.
Pacing is slow. If you have a short attention span, you’re gonna be incredibly bored.
Despite an impressive technological achievement in cutting edge Special Effects/Motion Capture, the story however, is a cheap knock-off of “Dances with Wolves,” “Ferngully” & “Pocahontas” all in one. Let me get this straight. Jim claims “The Force Awakens” lacks originality but doesn’t admit he stole plot elements from the aforementioned three films. What a hypocrite!
Jim also stole one plot element from “Houseguest,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Chicken Run,” “The Tigger Movie,” “School of Rock,” “Shark Tale” & “Wedding Crashers.” The main character’s a liar. This prompts one of my most hated cliches, “We’re done.” After a pair breaks up. In most buddy films/rom-coms, know they’re gonna get back together, put aside their differences and move on.
Here’s a list of characters Jim ripped off.
- Jake Sully – John Smith, (Pocahontas) Lt. John J. Dunbar, (Dance with Wolves) Zak (Ferngully) & Milo. (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
- Neytiri- Pocahontas, Crysta, (Ferngully) Kida (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
- Miles – Commander Rourke, (Atlantis: The Lost Empire) William Stryker, (X2: X-Men United) General Ross, (Hulk) General Mandible (Antz) & Governor Radcliffe. (Pocahontas)
- Parker – Scheck, (Hey Arnold! The Movie) Mr. Spacely, (The Jetsons Movie) Dick Jones, (RoboCop) J.P. Stiles, (Tall Tale) & Principal Jindrake. (Max Keeble’s Big Move)
The Final Verdict: B-
When I first saw Avatar, I thought it was spectacular. After a rewatch, it’s not a perfect film. The most painfully average film I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m in denial James Cameron, the director of one of my favorite films, “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” made a tropey sci-fi epic lacking originality. Once the sequel comes out, I’m setting my expectations super low. My only picks for December are “The Whale” & “Babylon.”