Why James Cameron's Avatar Isn't as Great as Everyone Thinks

  1. This feels like a strange article to write in 2022. I feel like public perception of Avatar has already been more negative than positive for the past 5+ years.

  2. Honestly, most of the stuff I see about it is just neutral. Like this movie was a big deal when it came out and it made a ton of money, and yet I can't remember a single line from it.

  3. I hate Avatar because it took James Cameron away from us. It hijacked his mind and talent. It's all he cares about now. He'll never make another movie that doesn't revolve around stupid blue cat people.

  4. The only thing most people know about it is that it made a lot of money. Very few people have ever rewatched it and no one talks about. It made almost no cultural impact.

  5. I bought a ticket and went to the theater and saw it Friday night IMAX 3D, and had a great time.

  6. It’s all about the experience. I saw it on dvd and realized how trite the story is without the visuals to focus on. It’s a good movie only when seen in the way it’s intended, in an imax 3D theater with thx sound.

  7. The overwhelming majority of people think Avatar was just fine. I’ve never met anyone who thought it was great.

  8. I thought it was really enjoyable when it came out, but I haven't watched it since. I'm not a big fan of the character design though. I just bought a blu-ray copy at a thrift store for $1 last week. I wonder if it holds up?

  9. Pull it out of its time though, when that style of shooting and special effects and run it now, it's not only not good it's probably subpar. So yeah it's iconic and has a significant moment in history but it's not even a good film. It's a good waste of three hours if you have that to burn. And of course it's beautiful visually, which is a lot more than typical bad movies are. So yeah no one hates it. It's still not good though

  10. Since Avatar came out, it’s become much more common among the general population (rather than niche fan groups) to get really invested in story, lore, characters of movies and tv. Avatar was a lot of fun to watch once and move on from - it doesn’t lend itself to the kind of obsessive focus that shows today are trying to cultivate.

  11. Fr though, this seems like an attempt to reconcile that it was able to pull in $60 million this year on a remastered re-release. The public still loves Avatar, which makes takes like this really blind.

  12. And you can but it's still a subpar film as far as story telling and acting goes. No one dogs it for the grand scenery and special effects of its time, just the script and the acting, as they should.

  13. I cannot wait for James Cameron to knock Avatar 2 out of the park. The hate on this website is ridiculous and it’s starting to become trendy just to hate on the original. Cameron is up there with Spielberg, Nolan, Villenueve when it comes to sheer passion for filmmaking and trying to deliver cinematic experiences. Avatar was designed to push what film can do and he accomplished that. The story was a backdrop for the otherworldly experience he was selling like an amusement park ride. Avatar is great in that regard.

  14. I completely agree, I don’t know there’s a lot of hate. I remember in 2009 all the hype and how people were talking about this. Now I just see people just hating on it.

  15. When the internet decides to hate on something, it doesn't need to make sense, people will try to rationalize and will never acknowledge that they're hating just because the internet says so.

  16. Exactly. Why the fuck does reddit hate that movie so much? Literally every thread regarding avatar is flooded with the exact same 5 comments over and over again.

  17. Hope Avatar 2 can slowly turn things around and in 5 years people will look at Avatar for being the great cinematic experience that it is

  18. Jesus, it's an action movie, it's not trying to be Oscar bait crawling up its own ass. When I see what film critics call "great" movies, I'm quite happy to watch the movies they think are "not great". Sometimes I don't feel like the cinematic equivalent of caviar and champagne, I just want a burger.

  19. It’s a good movie, y’all just forgot that it’s a fun time and doesn’t have to win an Oscar for plot. Better than most MCU movies

  20. I can predict every circlejerk redditor’s “original” thoughts on the matter: Ferngully, Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, unobtanium dumb, “I fell asleep/couldn’t finish it.

  21. I’ve enjoyed nearly all of James Cameron’s movies but hearing him talk about Avatar back in the day gave me the impression his head is up his own ass. Took the shine off Avatar for me, a bit.

  22. Who gives a shit, it was a decent story and it was entertaining without the PG13 comic relief crap that is in every mainstream movie now.

  23. I already knew before I read it would mention some culture war bullshit. The inability for people in 2022 to just watch a fucking movie without picking apart some culture or social stuff is extremely annoying. But that's just where we are in society now

  24. “reductive views on indigenous cultures and ableism because the character is freed from his wheelchair by moving into a Nav’i body”

  25. The story is basic but well executed no different then any of the Pixar films that critics rave about. Avatar was entertaining to see in 3D. However the true major is watching it with kids. They have no point of reference and are judging the film based solely on being engaged.

  26. What's wrong with just watching and enjoying a movie for what it is- an entertaining break from reality. I enjoyed the first one, I plan to watch and enjoy the second one.

  27. For me it's a huge comfort movie. I can just sit down after a long day and watch it without having to follow a complex plot. I also find the world building to be fascinating, which is it's biggest selling point for me.

  28. To be honest, I enjoyed the movie theater experience quiet a bit when it came out. Like pretty much everyone, I eventually took the position that it was a bad/mediocre plot and just a visual experience. For whatever reason about a year ago or so I watched it for the first time again and was surprised that it was definitely a better movie and plot than I remember. Sure it was generic, but still very we done.

  29. I took my daughter to see Avatar in the theater this weekend. Hasn’t seen it since it first came out. Gotta say, it’s way better than I remember. I think that’s largely a result of modern blockbusters being so incompetently made these days - shitty action, cookie cutter scripts, cheap cgi - but I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Kid did too.

  30. I love watching movies and having the theater experience. I think many movies are not that good like Jurassic park always repeats the same story and Star Wars kind of do too. I did see the similar story about dances with wolves and Pocahontas but I really enjoyed watching it when it premiered. I thought is was very good. Just last Friday I took my son, 16yo, to see it on IMAX laser 3d and we both had a great time. It provided a great opportunity for us to bond and have a great time and we both had a blast. Best money I have spent lately. Just go have some fun.

  31. None of you are special. At least not in the way Cameron is. His work is unparalleled and beyond reproach. He literally takes a decade to make a film, for no other reason than to try and make it the best version he can - and you brush it off with less regard than you would have for a smelly fart. Tell you what, make something of your own and cast it out into the world for judgement. Have it reach both critical and financial success. Have it loved and renowned. Then 20 years later, have some entitled pricks (who have literally accomplished nothing themselves)play armchair quarterback, cast dispersions on your work and see how it sits with you. The movie was cutting edge and still holds up.

  32. Although the 3D was awesome, the best parts of the movie (for me) are the character interactions, the humour. The one part that hasn't aged well for me was towards the end, when the manager guy is telling a room full of people - many of whom I can tell are Maori and Pacific Islander - that they're going to wilfully destroy the most sacred component of an indigenous culture. I felt that the PoC should be less enthusiastic than they appeared to be. ("Hell no, not this again Whiteboy!")

  33. I feel like people forget how incredible the mvoie was when it came out from a production standpoint. Like yeah it's a very formulaic story, but it's a beautiful world and for that time a revolutionary step in performance capture to create what is still a really good looking movie.

  34. Watched it for the 1st time last week and I thought it was great, good visuals, story pulled me in, I liked it. Is it supposed to be “look how different I am, I don’t like avatar” or something?

  35. Generally afterwards massive successes people tend to hate on movies/ tech/ arts/ music until they realize the excellence again

  36. With it coming back to theaters, I decided that rather than listen to all the criticism about it that I’d re-watch it.

  37. I virtually never fall asleep during movies. It’s happened maybe six or seven times my life. Two of those times were during my only two attempts at watching Avatar.

  38. It had a shit story and looked horrible? Everything about it was awful. People just deluded themselves into thinking it was good because it was supposed to be.

  39. Who are these people who think it was great lol. I know people who like it and I had a good time watching in IMAX but never seriously heard anyone say it's a masterpiece of cinema.

  40. Who the fuck thinks this movie is great? The running joke is that no one can even name a single character from it.

  41. It was never that great , the best thing about it was the 3D depth the 3D added back in the day but beyond that it’s a meh movie , never understood how it made so much money

  42. I don’t think it’s TERRIBLE. Just don’t understand the hype around the story. The visual effects for the time are great, but the story isn’t very revolutionary. Not saying it’s bad by any means and I have fun watching it, but it’s just any other movie to me. I’ve seen many better.

  43. In my eyes 2nd movie came too late. Like 1st was good, i rly liked it when I came and it was how many years ago?

  44. Story wise it wasn't spectacular. But being one of the first movies to take advantage of IMAX 3D it blew everyone away. That's why it was special, you felt like you were in another world.

  45. I don't remember people reminiscing about Avatar. I remember them being amazed at the IMAX 3d experience. Those who didn't see the movie in that setting missed out. I'm not excited about part 2 because I really don't see how much originality can go into broadening the story. But I'm really curious as to what tech JC has come up with that will one again change filmmaking. If it's really special as far as making the water look real I'd be excited to see a short "remake" of The Abyss with the same tech.

  46. It’s not great, but the visuals look good in 3D. It’s a good movie to watch in 3D. The effects are great. That’s it.

  47. The marketing is aggressive for the upcoming avatar movie(s). Damn. Even Cameron is trying to say controversial things and sound challenging to get some publicity. It’s all over my Facebook and Reddit it’s not even funny anymore. Sheesh!

  48. Saw it in IMAX 3D recently and was honestly blown away. Not that great on a narrative front, but just about everything else about the movie transports you to a beautiful and badass world.

  49. Avatar is an average movie with great visuals and the only effective use of 3D I’ve ever seen. I just saw the rerelease and loved it, but mainly for the experience, not the movie

  50. I just hope that Cameron has somewhat internalized the criticisms of the original film or intentionally made it very boilerplate, story-wise, because he wanted it to function more as an onboarding platform for the franchise and tech and wants to truly blow people's minds in that regards with the sequel.

  51. I saw it when it came out and I don’t recall a single review that said it was “great” in any way other than the effects.

  52. The consensus was never that it was a good film, but rather technically impressive and visually impressive. The story, dialog, acting, — all of it was completely forgettable. It was very pretty, though.

  53. Unless this was written at the time it’s pointless. Original Star Wars looks like shit now but was mind blowing for ppl then and that’s what matters

  54. I like this movie. However, I only felt that way until recently as I just watched it again since the original release

  55. In the movie theater and in 3D it was amazing, but almost entirely for the world and the scenery, not for the story or characters. It left you wanting to go to Pandora, not to re-watch the film.

  56. I watched it when it first came out and I found it boring and predictable. Definitely not worth the hype. So not surprised people have that opinion

  57. James Cameron fought Randy Newman on the ocean floor, all in hopes to raise the bar. We owe him another rewatch of avatar.

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