Avatar the Way of Water
Director: James Cameron
Avatar the Way of Water is the sequel to the hit film from 2009. I thought this film improved on the first in every way. The return to Pandora was a huge success with some fantastic characters both new and old as well as a story with a grand scope and some thrilling action scenes this is a spectacle to behold. With the best visual effects, I have ever seen this is a must-see on the big screen.
Avatar: The Way of The Water Review
Avatar the Way of Water is the sequel to Avatar (2009) directed by James Cameron. To kind of discuss my experience with Avatar I saw the first film when my family rented it on demand after it came out. After seeing it at age 9 I didn’t watch it again until returning from Disney World in 2019. While there my family went to Animal Kingdom and the world of Pandora where we rode the two rides they had. Flight of Passage, the super immersive simulator, made me want to watch the film again so my Mom, sister, and I watched it on Disney+ and I discovered I quite liked it.
So I was excited about this sequel, particularly, the opportunity to see it on the big screen which I heard was the best way to view the first film.
Upon reflecting for over a week now I can safely say that I thought this was an excellent film. To start with my criticisms, I will say that the first 20 minutes are really intense as James Cameron tries to catch audiences back up on the status of our characters and what has happened since the first film. So the first bit of the film is a bit jarring as it throws a lot at you but as things settle down it becomes a little easier to handle.
The first positive I want to discuss is the visuals. Obviously, that was a huge selling point for both this and the first film as James Cameron promised technological breakthroughs on what a person can do in terms of the look of a film and the creation of an entire world in CGI. Though there are some sets in the film for the most part everything is computer generated and it never feels that way. Not once did I feel that the world or characters on screen were fake or not real. The environments and the landscapes created are breathtaking, feeling both as real as can be yet still alien. The characters walk, talk and move exactly the way you feel the characters would and the way the actors can express themselves through the motion capture is brilliant. I can see the emotions and feel what they are trying to convey and I feel they are distinct characters who aren’t just an actor but a person/alien who is real. I think the biggest compliment I can give this film is that I felt emotions watching it both feelings of awe and wonder towards the landscapes and world as well as emotions for the characters and their struggles. It never felt fake or unreal. This film also had the best 3D I have ever watched in my life with it actually feeling like things were coming off the screen.
To talk about the story and characters I thought this film’s story surpassed the first one and was a more intriguing narrative. The emphasis on family and relationships was interesting and I liked how it was explored. I thought also that the discussions about being an outsider were well done and coming into your own. The characters were engaging to follow as well with two generations to follow. We got to see the continuation of Jake and Neytiri as they have grown and developed while also getting to know their kids who are just beginning to take their own journeys. I thought the story balanced the narrative between the old characters and the young characters well enough though we didn’t get as much time with Jake and Neytiri as one might have hoped. Still, I felt for alien kids who never grew up on Earth a lot of their struggles still felt relatable and they felt like actual kids and not just what an adult thinks kids are like. Also, the reintroduction of the villain from the first film, Quaritch, was quite believable without taking away from his initial demise and its importance of it. He poses an interesting threat to the Sully family while also forming a fascinating bond with one of the kids.
The action in the movie was fantastic and the end battle which probably lasts 45 minutes was intense. There were multiple moments where I could hear people cheering and the way that the action continued to ramp up through the battle was excellent. The water added an element to the fight as well as served as an extra obstacle as characters either used the water and its creatures to their advantage or nearly get killed by the ocean.
It was really interesting to see how this battle was the culmination of many themes in this film and it really is a battle between Quaritch and Jake.
This was a film that I highly enjoyed and definitely is worth seeing in theatres as that will be the best experience. I thought this film improved on the first in almost every aspect and I look forward to seeing where it goes next!