Now this one you have to tread carefully with. “Avatar” split audiences a little (not enough to stop it from becoming the highest grossing film of all time, though). Some felt the plot was very simplistic and even lifted straight from other popular eco-friendly type stories. Some felt the 3D was unnecessary. And others felt it was the beginning of a new era in movie-making special effects. I am a true believer. I feel that the 3D in Avatar was an amazing advancement in effects technology, and can be the future of all feature films eventually. Now I’m not talking about the bandwagon-jumping retro-fitted 3D effects of “Clash of the Titans,” but the “filmed-in-3D” style used in James Cameron’s sci-fi epic.
Therefore, as previously stated, to continue on from that game-changing film you need to tread very carefully. If I was making the sequel, I would keep the exact same effects as the first film. Don’t try to one up the last film in the franchise, otherwise you’ll appear to be making Pandora and its inhabitants a gimmick. The beauty of “Avatar” was that Pandora, the N’avi and all the creatures therein felt real — we felt pain when the giant beasts fell in battle in the climax, we wanted to reach out and touch the long grass that clothed the forest floor and we wanted to help take the fight to the vicious Colonel Quaritch. Therefore, they need to recreate that beauty again.
But Pandora is a big place — we shouldn’t be restricted to just the forests for our return trip. Cameron has actually said he would love to take the sequel into the oceans of Pandora. The potential for creative and awe-inspiring new creatures is unlimited. It would be too easy to say that the humans are back to mine some precious new mineral from under the sea, but what could the plot this time around? I would ease away from the bigger picture eco-related stories. One film on it may be fine, but it comes to a point where you may feel you’re being preached to instead of entertained. Or you may feel like you’re watching an episode of Captain Planet.
How about Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoë Saldaña)? Where can our two heroes go from here We could find Jake a little “bored” with his life on Pandora now. The thrill is over and he is almost beginning to miss his old life, albeit minus the disability. What if a small squad of humans come back to Pandora on a mission and offer Sully the chance to come back to earth? If they created avatars of the N’avi in the first film, they could create human clones in this film, and then transfer over his consciousness from his N’avi body. Or another intelligent species on Pandora separate to the Na’vi could try to enslave the N’avi, taking Neytiri as part of their plan for domination. Or taking her so that the head of the bad guys could make her his mate to force the two species together and force himself into becoming leader over them both.
The important point is that everything needs to remain completely real. That may sound obvious and yet ridiculous since we’re talking about a movie set on a alien world, but the reason we loved the first film is that the characters felt so real. So even though they looked like blue cats, they became real people to us. If you incorporate too many ideas and creations into a film just for the sake of it, the real story and real characters will be quietly pushed out.
Another idea that Cameron himself alludes to is the idea of the story heading out into space, specifically the galaxy where Pandora lies. What new and amazing planets could be waiting out there for Jake and Neytiri? Sound off IJMers!
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