For the anniversary that’s in it, you can understand why James Cameron would wish to re-release his 1997 boat movie at this particular moment in history. Given that everybody (apart, possibly, from those organisms that live in that deep sea cave which Cameron visited last week) has already seen Titanic, however, the director has added a 3D element to the mix. On paper, this sounded reasonable enough, particularly since the director’s previous 3D effort, Avatar, proved such an impressive experience for cinemagoers that it became the only movie to eclipse Titanic’s record global box-office haul of $1.8 billion.
But that’s on paper.
In reality, Titanic was an overlong movie which laboured (pre-iceberg) in the storytelling aspect, but impressed (post-iceberg) with its special effects. While there was undoubted chemistry between its two young stars, Kate and Leo, much of the exposition was clunky and no cliché was left unexplored, whether it involved the cold-hearted toffs in First Class, or those poor-but-honest Oirish riverdancing in Steerage. No surprise that Titanic’s then record, 11-Oscar haul (which turned James Cameron into the King of the World), didn’t include a gong for the screenplay.
That wouldn’t be such an issue this time around were the 3D effects in this revamped version particularly spectacular. Again with Avatar in mind, you would expect to be handed a life-jacket on the way in to the cinema along with your 3D glasses, but it turns out that this is a fairly unspectacular experience. The sinking of the big boat was impressive then and it’s impressive now, but, having already seen the film the first time around, it’s really not worth your while wading through another 194 minutes to see it again. And the real problem with seeing Titanic in 3D is that the script is still 1D, and no amount of technical jiggery-pokery can gloss over that iceberg of a fact.