Avatar: The Way of Water

The long awaited sequel to the highest grossing film off all time finally hit theaters this weekend. Avatar: The Way of Water marked the return of director James Cameron to his beloved franchise. I was never a huge fan of Avatar, but I rewatched it last week and found it much better than I had remembered which helped my anticipation for the Way of Water.

In a return to Pandora, we meet up with Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) and their children. When problems of the past rear their ugly head, the Sullys have to face dangers and tribulations.

I don’t want to go into too much in plot synapsis because there are some spoilers that I do not want to reveal that I did not know heading into the movie and I want everyone to have the same experience as I did.

The highlight of the film is clearly the special effects and the images on display. This is brilliant. The visual storytelling of this movie is amazing.  Honestly, I would say that around two-thirds of the first two acts of the film
are imagery. The look of The Way of Water is breath-taking. This will certainly be the leading candidate for special effects Oscar Award.

The underwater scenes in this movie are absolutely unbelievable. The underwater creatures that would swim by are amazing and would even draw my attention away from the main purpose of the scenes.

When you add the 3D, it enhanced the imagery even more. Most 3D tends to be darker or more difficult to see, but not The Way of Water (well, maybe a couple of times). It creates such dimension and realness that it added to the remarkable design and artistry. It had been a long time since I saw a 3D movie, and it has never been one of my most favorite aspects, but this was well worth
it.

The music was sensational as well, helping to add to the visual storytelling and creating the proper tone and mood the film was going for.

However, Avatar: The Way of Water is not perfect by any stretch. It suffered from some of the same drawbacks of the original. First of all, it does strike me as familiar in a lot of ways. It hit a lot of the same beats as the first film did. Secondly, the dialogue was not as sharp as it could have been. Some of the language that was being used should have been mo0re foreign to the characters
than it was. Speaking of the characters, several of them were simple and not developed to the level that they could have been. Several of the Sully children were not given much more than surface level characteristics. Another problem with the narrative is that several plot points were brought up and seemingly dropped through the film. I’m not sure if it is was cut for time (as the film
was already well over 3 hours long) or if it is intended as material for further sequels that we know James Cameron intends to create, but theses are noticeable.

The third act of the film was an amazing action film with some serious stakes and dramatic tension. Again, this was very much like the previous film.

There is no doubt that the effects and imagery of this movie will revolutionize the movie industry as much as the first Avatar did. I cannot stress that this is a film that is screaming to be watched on a big screen. The bigger the better. Your mouth will be agape from the spectacle, and, because of that, you may be able to overlook the weaknesses in the narrative.

3.75 stars

 

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