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Seriously Though: Does Anybody Care About the New Avatar Film?
The Way of Water looks lame
Avatar: The Way of Water releases on December 15th, nearly 13 years to the day since the first Avatar film wowed everyone with its then-cutting edge CGI. To that, I only have the one question.
13 years is an awful long time to wait between sequels. Here’s the best way I know how to illustrate: Return of the Jedi premiered in 1983. The Phantom Menace came out in 1999. That’s a 16 year wait, so it’s not exactly apples and oranges. And while you can debate whether or not the wait was worth it (it wasn’t), there’s no denying that people were excited to see new Star Wars. Those of us that grew up during the 80s and 90s took sustenance from the mere rumor of a new film.
Is anyone excited to go back to <checks notes> Pandora?
In the intervening years, Sam Worthington, Avatar’s fresh-faced star, has become a forgotten has-been. Time has been kinder to co-star Zoe Saldaña — or, more correctly, she’s simply miles more talented than handsomely bland Worthington — since 2009, she has starred in a Star Trek trilogy and four Marvel films, among other things. President Obama was only 11 months into his first term when Avatar premiered. It sounds like hyperbole but it is absolutely true: It was a different world back then.
I am including these things just to impress upon you how long its been. Covid has kind of mucked with our sense of time — mine, anyway — so its helpful to establish familiar signposts we can point to. James Cameron has been working on the sequels practically since 2009; I guess he’s taking a page from writer George R.R. Martin’s book.
I’ll be honest — I don’t even remember how the story works. The overarching plot I know (it was cribbed from the far-better Dances With Wolves). It’s the technology that allows Sam Worthington to become a blue native what escapes me. He’s just a human piloting a synthetic body, right? An ‘avatar.’ Something like that. I honestly don’t remember and can’t be bothered to check. That’s how little this film means to me.
I wouldn’t bother writing about this at all, but I’m generally curious if anyone is dying to see this. Not morbid curiosity, the way you might read someone’s obituary or glance through their medicine cabinet. I’m talking real excitement. Who’s going opening night?
Director James Cameron has made two of the biggest blockbusters ever. He created the Terminator franchise, and directed Aliens, The Abyss, and True Lies. He’s a good filmmaker and deserves the benefit of the doubt. Clearly.
Still. I could not be more indifferent to this film. I have no plans to see it. Zero. Like, not even to rent it. Maybe when it pops up on Disney+.
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