Avatar: the forgotten film

The highest grossing film of all time that nobody remembers.



The world of Pandora

What do blue people, mind control and record breaking amounts of money have in common? James Cameron’s Avatar has all three. A film that may not instantly pop into your head when you think of “great” films, yet is still one of the the highest grossing movies of all time. Seemingly unspoken about for years, was Avatar just a well marketed 3D film or a forgotten masterpiece?

“Neytiri” teaching Jake’s avatar how to shoot a bow.

In 2009, director James Cameron released Avatar. It was marketed alongside new IMAX and 3D technology, which was said to be the best way to experience a movie. The hype around the enhanced 3D experience was ridiculous, causing many people to buy the more expensive tickets for the movie. A partial reason the film did so well in the box office due to the price of the 3D experience tickets.

The Na’vi flying their native animal, the “Banshee”.

Avatar as a movie itself doesn’t really seem to take the best movie ever award. The film lacks in obvious categories, but delivers on what it promised. The enhanced 3D and IMAX capabilities are really shown in some of the scenes and caused the industry to make IMAX and 3D a standard that is still pushing the limit today. On the other hand, the two hour and forty two minute run time is not as friendly, to say the least. While Avatar has a beautiful score and some crazy 3D scenes, it lacks in storytelling, compelling characters, and any special scenes that separate itself from other films.

Neytiri representing her people.

Throughout the film, you never truly have an idea of whats going on because the movie does not explain it to you effectively. The storytelling constantly jumps between plots without establishing the basis of one first. The characters are uninspired, often coming off as very forgettable. Juggling between who is connected to who in the other world and the constant conflict causes main plot points to get brushed over. Frankly, if any random person was asked to name a character from Avatar, I’m quite certain they could not come up with one. In addition, there are no scenes in the film that stand out any more than the others. In every classic film, there is at least one scene that is unforgettable; this movie has none of the sort.

Maybe Avatar was not a great film, but what it did was enough to put it in the history books as the highest grossing film worldwide. Avengers Endgame broke records opening weekend and is currently grossing 1.5 billion dollars and steadily rising. This box office giant could be dethroned very soon, everyday Avatar is closer to being truly forgotten.