I’ve written about this before, but I think it’s still a valid point.
Say what you will about it (haters are gonna hate regardless), AVATAR is the perfect film for our times, and it’s very telling how it’s had practically zero lasting cultural impact, aside from becoming a punchline. Unlike “I’m the king of the world!”, “Hasta la vista, baby”, or “Game over, man!”, you probably won’t hear anyone saying “I see you” non-ironically. Which is too bad, because the recipe is pure James Cameron genius:
*Take a troperific love story (don’t forget the James Cameron Strong Female Character™!),
*Place it in a larger Takers-versus-Leavers conflict (to make it applicable and let us draw comparisons to every single run-in between Our Culture and the less-civilized since the Neolithic):
*Set it in the future (to showcase dressed-up guns, power loaders, and other geeky hardware),
*Highlight an inherent preachy message to warn society of its faults (they won’t do anything but bitch about how heavy-handed it was),
*Dress it up with absolutely cutting-edge, will-not-age, had-to-be-invented-for-the-film special effects,
*And then rake in the dough when every person on the planet (statistically speaking) sees it, twice, in 3-D, and doesn’t take anything away from the experience besides, “Gee, Dave, that place sure was purty!”
Like I said, pure genius!