Sequels are a big risk in Hollywood, especially when they are driven by ideology. Sure, some franchises can carry their audience through multiple films, but not all of them are Harry Potter. Many of the best filmmakers working today such as Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, the Coen Brothers, David Fincher and Christopher Nolan have been successful thanks to their enthusiastic originality. Sure, Nolan brought back the Batman legacy (and is slotted to do a third installment) but also took a break to prove his respect deserves tenure with Inception last summer.
The latest director to try and milk a franchise is James Cameron, who put together the wildly successful Avatar last year. From a financial perspective this makes sense, but we know Cameron has the coin to provide the freedom to pursue his environmentalist creed. The latest word is that the film will have two sequels, coming out in 2014 and 2015. Though Avatar was a box office home run, not everyone should be excited about the return to Pandora…or the thought of six more hours of recruitment for eco-terrorists.
Even Patrick Goldstein of the LA Times, who often carries water for the Left, weighs in on his concerns about sequels and Cameron specifically:
When you leave the theater, you feel somewhere between disappointed and ripped off. I’ve never felt that way leaving a Jim Cameron movie, because his films were invariably cause for great anticipation. I know “Avatar 2″ isn’t coming until 2014, but, for now, I’m thinking about the whole project with far more dread than desire.
Cameron, while one of the standard Left-leaning filmmakers in Hollywood, has been known for being one of the more original artists behind the camera. Thinking back, many of my favorite films have the Cameron stamp on them. The Terminator, Aliens, Terminator 2 and True Lies are what many of us remember him for. Of course, until one day when he checked his hard earned credentials at the door and got behind the beloved chick flick Titanic. After which he waited long enough for most of us to write him off only to show up again with another film that was in deep need of an editor. Only this time he injected his leftist ideology into every frame.
Most if not all directors have movies they wish they didn’t make when it was all over. In addition, film lovers usually forgive their favorite filmmakers for a movie or two that strays from his or her usual style. After all, the best writers and directors are usually willing to take risks with their standard content as well as with new material. In Cameron’s case, most of us forgave him for Titanic and maybe even let Avatar slide because Terminator 2 was so frickin’ awesome. The problem now is that Cameron has made the decision to take the next decade and devote it to his radical ideology, pumping it into two more lengthy yarns about blue people crying about the evil Americans and their ignorance regarding the environment.
Threatening two more Avatar films doesn’t sound like the best idea to me. In fact, it sounds a lot like a filmmaker desperately trying to become relevant again after taking over a decade off. Cameron clearly didn’t learn when he fully expected to win the best picture Oscar only to have it go to his ex-wife for her great film, The Hurt Locker. Something must be up when Hollywood doesn’t give an Oscar to a popular film full of eco-terrorism. Maybe there actually are some on the Left that didn’t drink the Cameron kool-aid.