Has James Cameron Lost His Edge?

 

credit: Terminator: Judgment Day

The better question appears to be, has he had his edge for a while now? James Cameron is a highly celebrated director that has put out quite a few memorable movies but saying that all of them are of equal quality and that they’ve been equally loved by his fans would be kind of a stretch. His attitude lately appears to be that he wouldn’t have done half of the stuff that he did in the past at this point, which is fair since, being older, his mindset has definitely changed. Like it or not, that appears to be one of the biggest explanations that could be attributed to his current state of mind and why he doesn’t appear to have the same effect on his movies as he used to. Back in the day, it felt as though his movies were going to pack a punch no matter what they were about, and it was usually easy to see how his directing style was a little more effective than many others. But maybe he’s hitting his final years in the business since he has apparently mentioned retirement after a handful of movies. 

credit: Aliens

Calling his most recent movies more refined wouldn’t be a huge stretch. 

If one takes a look at his earlier movies and compares them to what he’s done in recent years, it does feel as though his movies have softened a bit but hardened in ways that are a little more resolute and not quite so transitory in nature. Some might want to argue with that, but it does feel as though Cameron has taken great pains to tell the story and lace it with enough action and meaning to make people pay attention. The idea that he’s playing to the hearts and minds of the people is easy to say as well, but if that’s the case, then like most directors, he’s doing this in stiff opposition to many others who don’t follow the same line of thought that he does. It’s been noted more than once that Cameron will speak out against those that don’t see his vision, but there are moments when this makes him sound more like a senile old man rather than a revolutionary director. 

Age does take something from every one, no matter what it might be. 

People get older, and they start to change in a number of ways, from the way they think about the world around them to the way they think about whatever it is that they do. Like it or not, Cameron is getting older, and it’s fairly easy to think that his thought processes are changing in ways that might contradict a lot of what he did when he was younger. One only has to look at some of the movies he put out when he was a younger man as compared to now to see that his ideas of what should fly and what shouldn’t in a movie are far different. The idea that he’s going to keep doing the same is ridiculous, of course, but at the same time, it feels almost as though he’s invalidating the work that he’s done in the past, even though this isn’t the case. The movies that made him famous aren’t just the favorite movies of many fans, they’re what brought him to this point, so stating that he wouldn’t do the same is ridiculous since there’s a good chance that if he hadn’t done the movies he did and in the same manner, he wouldn’t be where he is today. 

credit: Avatar

His movies definitely feel as though they’ve come to a much more meaningful level. 

One could argue that all of his movies have some meaning to them, especially since the fate of humanity and others has been the main point in many of his movies. However, the idea that he’s putting more of an intrinsic meaning into each movie now feels accurate since the most recent work he’s put out has made it clear that there is something more to the story than the simple saving of one individual or another to help the future. It doesn’t always work, but the feeling is there. 

It might be time for retirement before he’s really ready. 

This will remain to be seen without a doubt since it sounds as though Cameron is ready to keep pushing the Avatar sequels, which will hopefully make money as efficiently as the first movie. But if the sequel bombs, one can easily guess that the third and fourth movies might come under fire, and it might be that the faith that people put in Cameron might be shaken just a little bit. It’s easy to state that his retirement is bound to come at some point, but many are hoping that it won’t come until he’s ready. 

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