Avatar: The Way Of Water Review – An Expensive But Magnificent Sequel Was Indeed Worth The Wait

The Way of Water is overlong and has a thin story, but the Avatar sequel is stunning, with lush world-building and characters adding depth.

It’s been over a decade since director James Cameron’s Avatar was released. The fear of a sequel diminishing or being inferior to the original is unfounded with Avatar: The Way of Water. Cameron, who co-wrote the script with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, returns to Pandora, providing viewers with even more stunning visuals, a more personal, emotional story, and incredible underwater sequences that rival any other film’s technical achievements. The Way of Water is overlong and has a thin story, but the Avatar sequel is stunning, with lush world-building and characters adding depth.

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) are doing well nearly 2 decades after the first movie’s events. Jake has fully settled into Na’vi life and over the years the pair have welcomed four children — their eldest son Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), their second-oldest son Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), adopted daughter Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), and their youngest daughter Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss) — along with Miles (Jack Champion), better known as Spider, a human boy abandoned on Pandora who grew up alongside Jake and Neytiri’s family.

Avatar - The Way Of Water
Avatar – The Way Of Water (Source: IMDB)

Jake and Neytiri’s joy, however, is short-lived as they encounter yet another threat in the form of Colonel Miles Quaritch’s (Stephen Lang) avatar, which is comprised of memories from his clone. Quaritch is out for vengeance on Jake and is relentless in his pursuit of his family, forcing him and Neytiri to seek refuge with the Metkayina, a water tribe.

It’s impossible to praise the film’s visuals enough — each frame is more breathtaking and magical than the last. The underwater scenes are especially immersive and breathtaking. Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t skimp on the visual effects, and there was a lot of effort put into creating such magnificent, vibrant, and unique vistas; the effort shows, and the film’s technical achievements are one of the sequel’s core strengths. The Way of Water immerses audiences in the ocean and its beautifully rendered creatures as Jake and Neytiri’s children explore it, and the 3D pops in ways that make the adventure all the more visceral.

Rather than remaining in the forest, Cameron takes advantage of the opportunity to discover a new part of Pandora and its diverse people. This benefits the Avatar sequel and prevents it from stagnating. The film’s primary focus is on the younger Na’vi generation, which allows the film to delve deeper into Pandora and the Na’vi without devoting as much time to Jake’s point of view or introduction to the customs.

Rather, the Metkayina’s presence adds a new dimension to the story and provides Neytiri and Jake’s family with a variety of challenges to overcome. This also creates a genuine push-pull dynamic between the adults and the teens, both of whom are headstrong and stubborn in their ways. Colonel Miles Quaritch’s threat gives the sequel a sense of familiarity without retreading the same ground.

Avatar - The Way Of Water
Avatar – The Way Of Water (Source: IMDB)

The Way of Water introduces a slew of new characters, including Jake and Neytiri’s children and the water tribe that shelters their family. While the new characters are welcome and their personalities and relationships are well-established, there are so many of them that it’s easy for others to be sidelined — like Neytiri, who has very little to do in this film compared to the first and, unlike Jake, rarely spends time with her children — and despite the lengthy runtime, The screenwriters struggle to keep all of their storylines in sync.

Due to this, the story of the sequel is a little disjointed, despite having more depth than the original movie. Additionally, some of the scenes are intended more to set up Avatar 3 than to advance the plot of The Way of Water. This doesn’t detract too much from the film’s narrative, but given that the film’s ending leaves a few loose ends, it would have been better if Cameron had wrapped up certain storylines before moving on.

Despite this, Avatar: The Way of Water explores enough new story beats and raises the stakes for its characters through tension to justify continuing the plot of the first film. The Way of the Water is a transformative movie experience that motivates and captivates the senses through its visual storytelling, making the return to Pandora well worth the wait. It is engaging, enjoyable, and one of the most beautiful films of the year.

Latest articles

Related articles