Film Review – Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

Title – Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)  

Director – James Cameron (Terminator) 

Cast – Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Stephen Lang

Plot – Jake Sully (Worthington) and his family must fight to save their way of life on the mystical and wondrous planet of Pandora when a prior threat returns to threaten their peaceful existence. 

“The way of water connects all things. Before your birth, and after your death”

Review by Eddie on 16/12/2022

Disclaimer – This review is based off the IMAX 3D version of the film

The saviour of cinema? The new bastion of advanced technology? The reviver of the seemingly dormant 3D format? I’m not convinced the more than a decade in the making Avatar follow-up The Way of Water is any of those things but what I am certain of it being is a must-see big screen spectacle, one that may not be the new-age blockbuster masterpiece we all dreamed of but a film worthy of getting off your couch to go and see.

Undertaking the mammoth task of creating a lighting in a bottle moment once more following on from his box-office king and technological piece of wizardry that wowed audiences across the globe in 2009, cinematic marvel James Cameron ensures here that his long in the tooth (not always in a justifiable way) H20 themed sequel goes for broke as it reacquaints us with the Sully clan who find themselves in a dangerous battle once more with humankind after a long peaceful period that flowed on from the events of the first blue cats adventure.

Digging too deep into this three plus hour epics narrative would only be cause for one feeling bemusement and disappointment in various angles but if audiences are expecting a wonderous return to Pandora they get to explore, feel and live in they’re in luck, while those buying a ticket purely to see Cameron once more spend the big bucks exploding, crashing and offering up not to subtle environmental/climate change commentary they too will find much to enjoy in a Hollywood blockbuster that revels in what it does, warts and all.

There’s undoubtedly less jaw on the floor moments in Way of Water when compared to Cameron’s initial outing that genuinely did feel like a big screen experience we hadn’t partook in before and despite the films runtime Cameron does at times struggle to juggle a plot line that has a few too many major players that don’t always feel like they get the screentime or reasons to be a part of this adventure one might’ve hoped for with even Zoe Saldana’s feisty Neytiri shunned to the side for extended periods with much more spotlight given to some of the Sully’s offspring such as Sigourney Weaver’s somewhat irksome Kiri and Britain Dalton’s Lo’Ak, one of the Sully’s teenage boys who has inherited much of his parents determined spirit.

These are but a few issues with the film that does have a few additional head scratching moments and even more poor scripting moments (cuz, I’m not lying bro) with those that found the first Avatar film grating in a dialogue or character creation sense likely to find Way of the Water even more bothersome, likely hindering any of the joys they would find elsewhere when it comes to the films money shot moments.

No matter ones feelings or sentiments towards Cameron’s characters, story or themes it would take a reserved mind and a total disbandment of the child-like wonderment in all of us not to be impressed by many of Way of Water’s stunningly created set-pieces, world building moments or colourful creatures (the mysterious Payakan is likely to become a fan favourite) and while it’s hard to fathom this early on just what Cameron’s return to the big screen or blue world means for cinema or the brand as a whole, we can be thankful the bearded master is back providing us with such lavish entertainment once more, even if it may not entirely be up to the standards we’ve come to expect over a long and prosperous career.

Final Say –

A must-see big screen experience, Avatar: The Way of Water may not be an all-round success story but its stunning realisation of what makes cinema special and how it can remind its audience of it, provides us with more than evidence enough that Cameron still has what it takes to give us cinematic experiences no one else can.

3 1/2 loincloths out of 5

10 responses to “Film Review – Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

    • It’s worth a watch for the visual spectacle mate and Cameron knows his way around a set-piece but I do think if someone didn’t like the first there’s not much chance they would like this one.
      E

  1. Certainly not the “new-age blockbuster masterpiece” but something that can make believe in cinema again I think. That’s an old school storytelling and I never imagined it could be so refreshing ! I’ll probably flow back in the Way of Water to have another look on the marvelous Pandora’s underseas.
    Thanx for your review, not so far from mine.

  2. The 3 hour 20 min runtime is the main thing that stopped me from buying a ticket. As much as theater will make watching this amazing, the fact that the first one and this one weren’t exactly great stories, I would rather watch this at home where I can pause it

    • I would suggest anyone with an interest in film see this on the big screen if they get the chance as there are some spectacularly made sequences that deserve the cinema treatment but the story is undeniably another weak point here and that runtime could be too much for some.
      E

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