I was kind of amazed when the second Avatar trailer arrived with such little fanfare.At least compared to the avalanche of hype that greeted the debut of the first one. That one landed with a thud of mixed reactions (I was not a fan), so I can understand why they'd want to tamp down on the expectations for this second effort.
So without the hype to be resentful of, this mega-trailer (three and a half minutes!) certainly looked like a marked improvement. The rousing buildup felt suitably epic. Sam Worthington's bland hunkiness felt unassuming rather than desperately overrated. Stephen Lang appears to be in Michael Ironside drag, en route to a role that will earn him a lifetime residency in the good graces of Aint It Cool News and CHUD partisans. It felt like an actual story (not a particularly original one, but whatever) rather an excuse for self-aggrandizement. It may not have crawled it's way up to the very top of my Must See list, but its prospects definitely seemed a lot sunnier.
That was my thought process at the halfway mark of the trailer. Then the Na'vi showed up and everything went Ferngully. Again. Look, I'm sorry. And I know I'm not seeing this footage "as it's meant to be seen," in 3D IMAX with James Cameron gently massaging your balls. But it all looks so silly. And the more I see of the plot, with the invading military forces
After Titanic, it's become impossible to criticize James Cameron for his piss-poor scripting, because it was just so obvious, and because Titanic was amazing anyway. And while it's way too soon to say for sure, I wonder if Cameron didn't take those lessons to heart, in all the wrong ways. Despite the grandeur of the technical endeavor, the animated footage all looks too slight. Cartoony, not to get all irony-intensive about it. Weightless. Showy, Empty. Stupid.
You guys, there's a slight chance I may not be an Avatar guy.