James Cameron’s Avatar & Titanic Share The Same Biggest Criticism

Avatar and Avatar 2 are wildly successful movies, but the two James Cameron movies also interestingly share two common problems with Titanic.

The James Cameron epics Avatar and Titanic both share stunning visuals and also the same big criticism. Cameron specializes in immersive epics designed to help viewers ignore reality for several hours at a time. Avatar and Titanic are very different films with this same goal. Avatar is a franchise involving blue extraterrestrials. By contrast, Titanic purports to be a historically accurate account of the infamous demise of the titular ocean liner. Yet the purpose of both is to simply entertain.


Cameron has clearly found a formula for commercial success. Both Titanic and Avatar were blockbuster hits, and broke box office records. However, for all their box-office acclaim, neither film is a cinematic masterpiece if considered beyond the level of its sweeping musical scores and engaging special effects.

Related: James Cameron’s Avatar & Titanic Hold A Weird Record (Not What You Think)

Avatar & Titanic Both Faced The Same Criticism

Avatar Titanic comparison

The Avatar movies and Titanic are entertaining, but a key complaint levied at both film is that neither has a compelling plot. The storytelling is hackneyed, and the plot elements Cameron relies upon have been better used in other media. Successful and engaging fantasy franchises and historical pieces both require consistent word-building with believable characters the audience cares about. Unfortunately, neither Titanic nor the Avatar movies achieve this.

In Titanic, the image of the band playing as the ship sank, along with perfect mood music, was a very moving scene. However, instead of utilizing any number of historical characters and relationships, Cameron chose to hang his movie on a mediocre love story. Likewise, the ending scene of the first Avatar movie of the Na’vi expelling the humans from Pandora set the theaters cheering. However, the characters were so bland that critics were left wondering why the audience should care.

Avatar 2 Also Revived An Old Titanic Criticism

Avatar 2 Cropped

One of the other main criticisms of Cameron’s movies is that they are too long. At 2 hours and 42 minutes, Avatar is the shortest of the three movies. Avatar 2 and Titanic are both well over three hours. Both have been rightly criticized for their excessive length. After all, that is a lot of time to devote to any movie, especially one like Cameron’s Avatar 2 where the draw is CGI effects primarily.

One of the most frustrating aspects of Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic movies is that, given their length, there is plenty of time for well-developed characters and stories, further exacerbating criticisms about a lack of such. If Avatar also had more universal praise for its characters themselves did, the movies would be classics for the ages – but instead, they’re regarded as choosing to entertain at the expense of solid storytelling. In the ultimate, Cameron’s movies are fun romps good for a few hours’ diversion, but they are all style and no substance.

More: Titanic Is Still James Cameron’s Greatest Achievement (Not Avatar 1 Or 2)

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