Is Avatar sequel worthy?

11 Nov

Is Avatar sequel worthy? and Why it is not an original idea.
by SimplyKyle 11/11/10

It’s official James Cameron has announced he is going to shoot a sequel to Avatar and even plans to do a third movie. Haven’t heard this yet? Check out this article. With such an announcement I feel it is only fitting I finally give my opinion of Avatar. (Yes I am aware the movie has been out for a while.) To clarify I am talking about the 2009 US movie, not the 2004 Chinese flick or the 1916 silent film (oh wait there was more than one movie with the same name?) not that you’d really get confused because when you Google Avatar movie there’s only one that pops up, well that and the other blockbuster “hit”…

the-last-air-bender-movie-poster(lol “blockbuster”)

I just felt you should know this is one of several aspects that seemed to have been “borrowed” from other media. When I first watched Avatar, I began to recognize several elements, like I had seen them before. Then it hit me; I’ve seen Disney’s Pocahontos, read Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead, and I’ve got friends who play World of Warcraft. So I began to wonder if James Cameron just spent one weekend playing WoW, reading the Ender book series, and his grandkids happen to have the Disney channel on in the background when he suddenly realized; “oh snap. It’s been five years already, I better put together a new movie.”
It’s said that’s not the case. Cameron claims that this movie had been in the works for years. The special effects and 3-D technology I can believe, this would not have been possible to pull off years ago, but the story-line and plot is hard to believe to have been worked on for so many years (although that is what they said about Star Wars episode 1-3). The movie itself is absolutely visually stunning and utilizes new 3-D technology and motion capture techniques co-designed by James Cameron himself. Being into the technical aspect of filmmaking myself, that is pretty sweet.
We all know James Cameron has brought us great films like Terminator , Aliens, Terminator 2, True Lies, and  Titanic (like it or not it was quite the epic movie feat). Of course who could forget his most memorable and world renowned….

piranha-ii -the-spawning-poster

 Avatar being his latest in his usual every-five-years-or-so-come-out-of-the-woodwork-and-make-an-epic-blockbuster (very much like he goes through wives).  As I mentioned Cameron used new technology to film Avatar and has revolutionized the movie industry. Of course they also said that about The Matrix and we all know how those sequels were. So does Avatar warrant two more movies or is it just a means to squeeze movie goers out of more money? That is another article in unto itself. My discussion here is based on the fact that, set aside from the visual special effects (2 ½ hours of awesome scenery), the movie has a dull, unimaginative story-line and borrows elements from other works whether intentionally or not.

Avatar is far too much like an outer space version of Pocahontas, hell Neytiri even looks like her to an extent, especially when she’s peeking through the trees. I was surprised she didn’t start singing about the wind and the trees when she first told Jake about the connection the Na’vi have to Pandora. A connection eerily similar to the Pequeninos (aka piggies) have to their planet, Lusitania, in Speaker for The Dead.

For those that don’t know this story, Speaker for the Dead is a sequel to Orson Scott Card’s book Ender’s Game (if you don’t know that one, you best read it!). The story is about humans who arrive on this planet that is inhabited by animal-like humanoid creatures (the piggies) as well as other feral creatures the humans don’t understand. They discover the Piggies are in sync with the trees and they claim they are their ancestors and can learn from them and talk to them, even transfer their life and memories into a new tree when they die. Sound familiar?

The humans are also located in one settlement on the planet and when they leave to explore they find the piggies and don’t know if they are hostile or not, but most of the humans make them out to be, as they don’t understand their culture or their way of life (that’s like in Pocahontas too). There is no love story between any of the piggies and a human, but pretty much the same idea. Besides that part is told in Pocahontas anyway. Eventually both parties learn to live in harmony, to an extent…I think I know where the sequel will go. (read Xenocide).
You may be saying that could just be a coincidence. Maybe. And the creatures of Pandora are completely original and don’t resemble anything else…

Leonopteryx vs Pterrordaxdire horse vs horseThantaor vs nightsaber(nope I don’t see any similarities whatsoever)

I don’t play World of Warcraft, but I’ve talked to several of my friend who do and they pointed some these similarities out to me. Even I can see the question-ability and so do others, like this guy. Now I’m not saying Avatar is a rip-off at all, it could all just be subconscious connections. I mean they did create a bad ass AMP suit just for the movie for Colonel Quaritch to done.

aliens-ripley-powerloader_1193711350
(oh wait)

Now I did enjoy watching the movie. As I stated I love the technical aspect behind creating a film of this magnitude. But I would not go so far as to say it was the best movie of all time or get fanatic and obsessive over it. I mean people worshiping the movie and claiming it changed their lives is a little excessive. Besides Hindus have been worshiping Avatars for much longer, read more here. Some people even say they “were brought to tears” and “got shivers” when they watched it wanted to be in the world of Pandora. Those sensations were probably the result of the hallucinogenic they took before the movie, amplifying the intensity of the visually stunning scenes, because their friend said it would be a “great idea”. Still no one beats this guy when it comes to Avatar-related “great ideas”…

man-gets-not-one-but-five-avatar-tattoos-18970-1279759948-44
(this is totally going to be relevant in a few years)

All in All James Cameron did an amazing job at creating new film techniques, as he always does, and invented a new 3D camera for this film that would go on to shoot such epic films as Jackass 3D. I just wish he had stuck with the original idea to make a Spiderman movie (yes he was attached to the project for the first film) that has nothing to do with this but I felt like bringing it to light. We will see how the Avatar sequel panes out (in probably 5 years), I mean Cameron did give us Terminator 2, that far surpassed the first. Maybe Avatar 2 will blow Avatar out of the water, but I doubt it.

-Photos used are property of 20th century Fox, Blizzard Entertainment, and Nickelodeon Studios respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.

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