Mangirling is a semi-regular feature that runs when the girls are too busy (lazy) to write their own posts, or when Johnny Rico feels the need to yell at the internet about something inconsequential. Read on for this week’s rant…
This week, distinguished director James Cameron announced he would be filming sequels to the groundbreaking 2009 movie Avatar. Not sequel, sequels. Not 2 sequels, not 3 sequels, but 4 full-length feature film sequels to Avatar. I will not be watching these movies, and neither should you.
Hey. Right now. Try to quote Avatar, the highest-grossing movie of all time. Quote ANY line. Or name 2 characters. No cheating.
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) December 20, 2015
Avatar was not a good movie. It did three things really well: the colour blue, 3D film making, and heavy-handed environmental indoctrination. That’s it. Even if you really like those three elements of filmmaking, do you need to sit through another 12 hours of of Avatar? Did the story leave you wanting to know more of what happened to giant tree houses? What about a certain billionaire space industrialist? Do you need to see him get an even greater comeuppance? You don’t. Trust me, you don’t.
7 year old plot spoilers ahead: As far as I remember, Avatar revolved around space mercenaries fighting off naked blue creatures who flew around, and made sweet hair love, on giant sugar gliders on a planet called Pandora. Pandora. Let that little piece of subtlety sink in. Get it? It’s like the box! Pandora’s box! In order to manipulate the extraction of a super-rare yet very important mineral called “Impossibilium” from under a giant tree house/hive mind on Pandora (ugh), a super smart scientist figured out a way to download a human mind into a computer simulation of a naked blue creature. Many hilarious minutes were spent as our hero, whose name I can’t be bothered to look up, figured out how to use his avatar. Then, rather than invent something called “directional drilling” the evil industrialist decided to super-bulldoze the tree. The Ewoks fought the Empire and the Ewoks won. Fin.
Believe me, I get it. Hollywood artists are trying to expand the horizons of us plebs by creating a feature with a message. I applaud James Cameron for trying to make his art both commercially successful and somehow meaningful, but I don’t need to be hit over the head with a hammer whilst someone shouts, “the environment is important” and “money isn’t everything” and “colonialism is bad” (Disney’s The Jungle Book – out in theatres NOW). There was nothing subtle about a movie where a major plot point was the very consensual physical joining of two species (through an avatar).
If you have a movie that created 2.8 billion dollars at the box office, it makes sense to make a sequel. Why not hammer out those cheques? People like “familiar” more than “good” every day of the week. It’s why we pay for comic book movies that act as feature length trailers advertising for the next comic book movie… you know, the one that’ll be even BIGGER (see: Captain America: Civil War coming to theatres May 6). But did the Avatar universe leave 4 sequels-worth of questions unanswered? Of course not. Avatar left exactly zero questions unanswered and I know this is true because the only time I’ve spent thinking about avatars since I saw that movie is creating my own for the various message boards, Twitter accounts, and blog characters I use online.
Maybe Avatar Two through Five will tackle other major social issues with an equally heavy hand. Perhaps Avatar Two could feature hair sex with a sand spider to finally solve religious extremism in a world that vaguely resembles the Middle East. Take that, ISIS. Maybe Avatar Three will tackle the issue of the gender wage gap, trigger warnings, and body image by having hair sex with an underpaid, hyper-sensitive, obese (but healthy) apparition fighter (Ghost Busters coming to theatres this July). Take that, misogyny. Avatar Four shall explore the link between science and pop culture by injecting a Kardashian with a vaccination for autism. Avatar Five? I don’t know, what will be a major global issue sometime in 2022? The North Pole moving sideways because Russia built a gigantic magnet to steal it from Canada? The Chinese figuring out a way to control weather so they can steal snow from Canada and somehow host a successful Winter Olympics in Beijing? The Americans building a gigantic thousand mile (1600 kilometre) pipe to steal water from Hudson’s Bay only to discover that’s where Canada stores salty ice cubes? Whatever the issue, a heavy-handed blue-hair-sex-having avatar is the best way to open a dialogue about it.
In conclusion, screw Avatar and all its future sequels. I have better things to watch like Batman v Superman II: No Seriously, This Time It’ll Be Better (coming to theatres in 2018).
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