Avatar: The Way of Water Review – James Cameron’s Underwater World Comes With Its Flaws

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Story: A worthy sequel to the 2009 film Avatar, James Cameron takes us back to the stunning world of Pandora, where human turned Na’vi Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Na’vi princess Ney’tiri (Zoe Saldaña) must do everything it takes to protect their children from the ‘sky people’ (humans from earth).

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Star Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Jack Champion & ensemble.

Director: James Cameron

What’s Good: Cameron is not hell-bent on revamping the world entirely just because he has more money and means, but he is dedicated to telling you the story of the characters he has developed so well.

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What’s Bad: He goes into a zone where it almost feels like you are in a pram and James has the handle to navigate you through this world. It is also good but a lot over simplifying in parts.

Loo Break: A filmmaker is back with his crown jewel after over a decade. Even in dull moments, you have no right to even shift your focus.

Watch or Not?: You either watch or watch, simple!

Language: English (with subtitles)

Available On: In Theatres Near You!

Runtime: 192.10 Minutes.

Moving from the sweeping vistas of Pandora’s forests, James Cameron trains his vision on its seas in Avatar: The Way Of Water. Former marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) left his human form in the 2009 original film to become one with the Na’vi and join his mate, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) in the fight to preserve the land and its people. The two have settled into domesticity and started a family, but as they say, peace never lasts long. The Sullys’ world is threatened once again and Jake has to regroup to protect his family after all this time.

James plunges us back into Pandora at a furious pace as we are re-introduced to the world and the years that have gone by. Few friends have remained, old foes return and a new generation is beginning to take shape. Jake and Neytiri’s children have both their spirit and drive as they stumble into new adventures, this time under the sea. The Way of Water introduces us to a new Na’vi clan, the Metkayina, led by leader Tonowari (Cliff Curtis) and his wife Ronal (Kate Winslet).

Shifting gears from the floating mountains and dense woods, the lifestyle of the Metkayina is peaceful and remains a safe harbour for the Sully family. One new, young character reminds the ‘refugees’ that ‘the way of the water has no beginning or end’. It is this lesson that they must learn over the events of the film, just as Jake learned about connection among all living things in the first film. If one has not seen the first film, the introduction of characters old and new can be a bit overwhelming seeing as the story sweeps ahead to a grand final, inevitable clash.

The underwater sequences in The Way Of Water are absolutely breathtaking, worth the price of admission ticket alone, and the wonder on the faces of Sully family as they witness this new paradise reflects the amazement of our own. James Horner’s score adds to the moving sequences.

The computer-generated environments too look amazingly real, thanks to the many advancements in technology that have occurred in the 13 years since the 2009 film first premiered. The 3D also has more detail woven in, both above and underground, and doesn’t feel overwhelming. It is something to be experienced only the big screen. The Way of Water’s finale is grand, messy and emotional, with several echoes of James’s own Titanic (1997) and its warm, emotional ending. But the much-touted running time of a 192 minutes isn’t much of a factor here. The action keeps you engaged on the big screen as the screenplay by James, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver sets up scenarios that can take the franchise forward.

Much has been said over the last few years of the slow death of the theatrical experience. Avatar: The Way Of Water is a stunning spectacle that is mounted by a passionate filmmaker who knows exactly how to mould action and emotion together for an enjoyable time at the movies. Don’t miss it.

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