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Avatar 2 Fans Fiercely Defend The Criticism That It's 'All Visuals And No Story'

Hearing the words "Avatar" and "basic story" is about as common a combination as hearing peanut butter and jelly. And die-hard "Avatar" fans are finally taking a stand against it. When James Cameron released his long-gestating science fiction fantasy epic "Avatar" in 2009, audiences were transported to a world like nothing they had ever seen before. The world of Pandora was so lush, full of detail, and eye-popping visually that it set a new precedent for cinematic fantasy worldbuilding that arguably has yet to be matched. However, despite the overwhelmingly stunning and groundbreaking 3D visuals on display that received endless praise and accolades, many viewers had an opposite viewpoint toward the film's overly simplistic narrative. For example, the Rotten Tomatoes consensus called the film " ... more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling ..." The reputation of the James Cameron-directed blockbuster has been cemented over the years as such.

Now, 13 years later, with the release of the long-awaited sequel "Avatar: The Way of Water," it seems more or less like the same merry-go-round. While far from a terrible rating, the film's 78% Rotten Tomatoes score is not much of a step up from its predecessor, with similar complaints from critics aimed at the sequel's stunning visuals outweighing its story by a country mile. But for fans who see more in the world and story of the "Avatar" saga than stunning 3D vistas and motion-captured cat people, enough is enough.

What's wrong with a simple story?

After having so much hate thrown at the "Avatar" franchise, fans are standing up to the critics and voicing why they feel the hate is unfounded. On a Reddit thread started by Redditor u/Dr-Oktavius, the user expresses their frustration, saying, "Sure, it is once again a relatively simple story but it is incredibly effective. All members of the main cast had clear motivations and character arcs. I loved seeing all of them grow up over the course of the movie ... Also the last hour of the movie is straight fire."

The storytelling in "Avatar" may be overly simple to many. Still, Redditor u/TappyCard sees it as one of their favorite aspects, commenting, "I just can't come to care about people tearing these movies down. I have heard it all and it's so repetitive ... For me personally, a simple story isn't a negative for 'Avatar.'" Meanwhile, u/lingdingwhoopy makes a similar statement on what makes the narrative qualities in the "Avatar" franchise stand out, expressing dissatisfaction at the fact that the franchise's visual storytelling aspects seem to be consistently underappreciated.

It's clear as water that "Avatar" fans deeply connect to and understand the franchise in a way that critics may not. And if there's anyone who understands what moviegoers are looking for, it's James Cameron.

Cameron believes if he likes it, moviegoers will follow suit

For nearly 40 years, James Cameron has been entertaining audiences the world over with his cinematic efforts. Whether he's providing mind-blowing action in "Aliens" and his "Terminator" duology or making our hearts break with "Titanic," James Cameron is the king of getting butts in seats and pleasing audiences. With both "Avatar" and "Avatar: The Way of Water," Cameron has once again prioritized grand-scaled filmmaking that practically all audiences can get invested in. And in an age where audiences constantly bicker about whether Marvel blockbusters are better or worse than indie A24 films, Cameron's "Avatar" franchise offers a refreshing experience that blends genuinely passionate filmmaking with crowd-pleasing spectacle.

In an interview with Variety, when the director is asked whether or not he is afraid of the film flopping at the box office, as many have been predicting, Cameron simply states, "I don't worry about it. I don't think anything one does artistically in life should be determined by the trolls and the naysayers. You just go where you think it makes sense." And thankfully for many audiences, Cameron's preferences aren't far off from the average moviegoer's. He continues his Variety statement, saying, " ... my tastes are so kind of blue-collar and general. They're not esoteric, my personal tastes. If I like my movie, I know other people are gonna like my movie. It's very simplistic, really, ultimately."