Avatar sequel -are you excited for the movie?

The original made me actively root for the bad guys, so I’ll pass.

I’m quite looking forward to it, but mostly for the worldbuilding. I hope they brought Wayne Barlowe back.

He is. I know he died in the first movie, but he is returning and I think as the same character(that is what the rumors suggest).

Even Sigourney Weaver, who also died in the first movie, is coming back.

That was a really very boring trailer. Soldiers against blue people, computer generated everything, but now there’s water…

There’s just no keeping that woman down, is there?

I saw the first and the 3D tech physically did not work for me so it was just a pretty, if largely vacuous, movie. It’s been so long that I can’t get too jazzed up about this one though it’ll obviously do just fine at the box office. As mentioned, the film weirdly had almost no lasting cultural impact and was about as much “all flash, no substance” as you can get. The preview really just looked like “See? Pretty!” rather than trying to sell me on a good story so I assume this will be largely the same as the first one. Hopefully without the cringey news stories about people distraught that they can’t live on Pandora and frolic with blue cat ladies.

I have one and I do like it.

I don’t know. Avatar was a huge hit 13 years ago but it has hardly remained culturally relevant. Plus with the MCU, Star Wars, Jurassic World, Sony Marvel, and DC cranking out films every year, (plus a Matrix sequel, a successful Dune reboot, and TV shows like Game of Thrones and The Witcher) there hasn’t exactly been a gap in blockbuster fantasy/sci-fi CGI-fests.

But James Cameron is great at world-building an emotionally resonant epic spectacle. So I am curious to see what he builds with a billion dollars over 4 movies.

What I suspect is that Cameron always intended the original Avatar to be some sort of prelude for a much larger fantasy story he wanted to tell. But he didn’t want to spend have the movie on exposition and backstory. Kind of like what The Hobbit is to Lord of the Rings (books. not the bloated Jackson prequel films). Or why Dune is so hard to film. That’s why he chose to rehash a simple Dances With Wolves / Fern Gully / Last Samurai / Paul Atrades form Dune “soldier goes native” meets The Lorax story for the first film.

So when audiences go to see Avatar 4,5,6,and 7, they won’t need Avatar’s equivalent to boring Princess Irulan spending 30 boring minutes reading “History of Pandora Part I” from her boring books or the Encyclopedia Galactica or Hitchhikers Guide or whatever. They can jump right it knowing that Jack Sully is the Muad’Dib of Pandora (wet Arrakis), rallying the Na’vi (Fremen) to defend their homes against the human invaders (Harkonan) coming to strip the planet of Unobtaining, the most important resource in the universe (spice).

And audiences

I never saw the first movie when it was out, and once it was out of theaters it kind of felt pointless to watch it at home, so I’ve never tried to watch it since.

Yeah, mark me down as “couldn’t possibly care less.” I saw the first one (not in a theater) and was totally unimpressed, and I won’t go to a theater to see this one.

Really? I never figured out who the bad guys were.

I just rooted for the movie to end.

The sequel looks very pretty. Not seeing any actual indications of a plot beyond “soldiers vs natives again, but underwater this time” in the trailers, but it looks nice.

It also had Michelle Rodriguez in it, which is poison for any project. She should never be cast in anything.

It’s like the chicken and the egg. Is it bad because she’s in it, or is casting her a bad omen?

It’s hard to see how the F 'n F franchise would have been improved with her removal.

That must be why there was only that first Fast & Furious film…

She is certainly absolute poison in those, too. Can you believe they bothered to resurrect her? Yeesh.

Pretty much. Hope it tanks massively so the world is spared more of the same.

Which is good, as the world that Avatar is set on was obviously built, not something that evolved.

I’ve spent most of my life as a James Cameron fan. Aliens, Terminator 2, The Abyss are among my very favorite movies of all time, and the rest of his movies are not far behind. And then there’s Avatar. It’s fine. It has Cameron’s usual obsessive attention to detail, it does a good job of setting up all the exposition in a way that’s smooth and allows the action to mostly flow. But overall it still just feels too much like a tech demo, with not enough attention on dialog, characters and story.

If it had been a one-off movie to serve as a vehicle for digital 3d filmmaking, that’d be one thing, but I was extremely dismayed when Cameron announced that he’d be making 3 or 5 or however many sequels, because that’s basically the rest of his life, locked in exploring the most boring of his creations so far. I’m sure the sequels will also be “fine”, but dang, what a lot of wasted potential.

I agree with everything you wrote.