Review of 'Avatar: The Way of Water'

avatar2.jpg Years following the events of Avatar Jake Sully (voiced by Sam Worthington) is Chief of the Omaticaya Clan and has four children with his wife Neytiri (voiced by Zoe Saldana). The children play with Spider (Jack Champion), the son of Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who was unable to return to Earth in cryostasis due to his young age and finds himself attracted to the Na'vi rather than humans left behind. Their happy lives are shattered when another RDA space-ship returns to earth with a cloned Miles Quaritch seeking revenge by killing Jake. Despite heroic attacks on supply lines Jake has to rescue his children from the RDA who have taken them prisoner. Jake realizes the best way to protect the Na'vi and his family is to flee. They claim asylum with the Metkayina, a Na'vi clan who have adapted to life in and around the ocean. They are reluctantly allowed to stay and quickly adapt themselves to their new surroundings. But, it is only a matter of time before Quaritch tracks them down and brings the war to the Metkayina…

This is more an experience than a film. In a theatre in 3D on the big screen you are drawn into this fully immersive experience with absolutely stunning, beautiful, visuals and utterly believable world. Yes, the pro-eco story is fairly basic and predictable as are the action sequences that seem drawn out and clichéd beyond belief. Here in addition to our wanting to save the wonderful planet's forests we witness the wonder of the oceans and the whale-like “tulkun” which are, perhaps predictably, a target of RDA fishing craft. The characters are not exactly nuanced either with the petulant younger brother, Lo'ak (voiced by Britain Dalton), and day-dreaming adopted daughter Kiri (voiced by Sigourney Weaver) as well as the return of the simply evil Miles Quaritch though in this later case it is slightly more shades of grey after meeting his son. Yes, there are the complications of the previous film to deal with…

At more than three hours, this is a very long film but I found myself not really noticing as I let myself get pulled into the story and just admiring the view. The predictable violent finale is drawn out quite a long time which does somewhat detract from the rest of the film. There is also the obvious linking to the upcoming third film which also slightly grates. The eco message is once again also pummelled into our heads this time with the blatant echoing of Earth's whaling industry on Pandora - We are drawn into loving the gentle tulkun only to have them mercilessly pursued and killed by the “evil” NDA who seek but a small part of this wonderful creature to provide anti-aging serums for Earth - Yeah, blatant.

“The Way of Water” looks absolutely incredible trumping the original by quite some margin in terms of quality and detail serving to draw us once again into the world of Pandora. An amazing piece of cimemagraphic magic that somewhat disappoints in terms of story and prolonged, quite violent, action sequences.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2022-12-28

Directed by: James Cameron

Studio: 20th Century Studios

Year: 2022

Length: 192 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by James Cameron: