Avatar 2: a “constant wonder” but “a scenario to be deployed”

Thirteen years after the first Avatar, Did James Cameron succeed in repeating the feat? Walt Disney Company

NEWSPAPER – Thirteen years after the first part, the sequel toAvatar does it keep its promises? The special effects are there, the script struggles to convince.

For fans and for room managers in need of an audience, it is without doubt one of the most anticipated films of the year. The new Avatar of james cameron tells the continuation of the adventures of Jake Sully and Ney’tiri on Pandora. The story takes place a decade after the events of the first film. The former marine has definitively left his human body to reincarnate as a Na’vi. He and Ney’tiri are now married and have four children: Neteyam, Lo’ak, Tuktirey and Spider. They lived a peaceful life until humans attacked their planet again. Forced to leave their home, the little family goes to explore the unknown lands of Pandora… and its seabed.

A breathtaking universe

For the second part of this saga (at least two others are planned), the 68-year-old director saw things big, especially for the aquatic scenes, which occupy a large part of the film. “From film to film, Cameron pushes the limits of gigantism and technological innovation, constantly renewing the invention of the Lumière brothers like a Méliès of modern times, marvels Étienne Sorin, journalist at Figaro. Avatar thus brings “performance capture” into another dimension, anticipating in passing the advent of metaverses.”

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To achieve this result, James Cameron again employs his beloved “motion capture”, a technique which consists of filming the movements of the actors, digitizing them to transform them into Na’vi, these blue extraterrestrials three meters high. Avatar 2 perfects the process through incredible underwater sequences, where the characters rub shoulders with aquatic creatures of breathtaking realism”, says Jérôme Vermelin on TF1 News. For 3h12, the spectator then finds himself transported to a parallel universe “such as literature since Tolkien or Hollywood science fiction cinema since Star Wars like to create, according The cross . Avatar has its own codes, adds Stéphane Dreyfus, “its own language, its own spirituality, its imaginary bestiary and its exotic and fluorescent flora, which seduces the public in search of escape”. “It must be admitted that the cinema experience promised by James Cameron, the one that it is impossible to find at home on your sofa, is held”further specify The cross.

The Parisian, for his part, hails a “hyperimmersive family show“. “We thought we had reached a peak with Avatar, we go up several notches with the Waterway», rejoices Renaud Baronian who congratulates James Cameron for «his scientific genius, his sense of romance and his love of beautiful images”.

A scenario that remains to be reviewed

To these almost unanimous praises on the technical and visual aspects, a reservation, coming from French Culture where we are skeptical of Cameron’s ability to repeat the feat of the first Avatar, thirteen years later. 3D? “She exhausts the gaze”, complains Lucile Commeaux. Special effects ? “Nothing we haven’t seen before.” Director “fails at the game of the great show”, believes the columnist. “The form looks so backward that it seems to hover, just like the narrative.”

The screenplay is probably the weakest aspect of the film according to critics. Avatar 2surfs on archetypes», regrets France Info. “The themes covered are nevertheless rich: diversity, education, father-son conflicts, integration, colonization…”, but their treatment leaves something to be desired. “Is Cameron more of a director than a playwright?asks Jackie Bornet, recognizing, all the same, that “the 3h10 of this second part pass very quickly”.

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What should be remembered? A new and “beautiful progressive fable”, like the first episode? Not really, protests Lucile Commeaux. Although in the body of a nice Na’vi fighting against companies that want to exploit his planet, the hero is “more than ever a western, heterosexual white man, who demands that his children call him “sir” like in the army, yells at his sons who are not virile enough, and imposes his power on everyone”.“It’s worth the trouble to understand Pandora, learn its uses and its language if it’s to reproduce the functioning of Texan rednecks yelling at everyone in English”, she asserts.

Less carried away, The New Obs still find it regrettable “that a filmmaker of Cameron’s caliber end his career ruminating on the same story rather than inventing new ones”. Will the new directors who will be entrusted with the sequel to the sage manage to do better? “It will probably take a little more effort in the scriptwriting of what strongly resembles a pacifist western”, warns The cross.

Avatar 2: a “constant wonder” but “a scenario to be deployed”