After 13 long years, Avatar: The Way Of Water, the sequel to the highest-grossing film in the world, hit the screens amid sky-high expectations. Let’s see if James Cameron’s directorial live up to the hype or not.
Jake Sully aka Toruk Makto (Sam Worthington) and his wife Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) live happily on Pandora with their four children – Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Loak (Brittany Dalton), Tuk (Trinity Bliss) and Kiri (Sigourney Weaver). They also have Spider (Jack Champion), a human orphan. During this time, Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) returns as a special Avatar to take revenge on Jake Sully and his people. He kidnaps Spider and takes him away. To protect his family, Jake decides to move his home to a new place where the Metkayina clan lives. But the Colonel and his people from the sky are also on their way to this new home. How the forest and water people work together to save their families from humans forms the rest of the story.
James Cameron, the mastermind of the epic story of Avatar and its sequel, revealed the story already in the trailers themselves. Still, its excellent characters and screenplay make the film a great viewing experience.
The way James connects the two parts (films) is quite good. It gives a neat explanation and makes it easy for people to understand the connections between the first and second volumes. The way he connected some of the key characters from the first installment made the film an emotional experience.
The beauty of Avatar 2 isn’t just the Navi people, but the creatures they love. James Cameron beautifully shows the emotional bond between the giant creatures called Tulkun and the Navi clan.
As for the performances, it’s the kids who have performed well. Their innocence, combativeness and eagerness to learn new things were shown in a good way. Kiri and Neteyam leave a strong impression on us as soon as we leave the theatre. They give their best. Tonowari (leader of the Metkayina clan) played by Cliff Curtis and his wife Ronal (Kate Winslet) justified their roles. Stephen Lang nails it again with his villainous demeanor.
As stated above, it is a story. The plot is so simple and one can guess it from the trailers. However, James Cameron tells it well. In addition, the film is over three hours long, which can make a few sittings difficult. The slow narration bores you and makes you wonder why so much delay was created.
Compared to the first part, James Cameron focused a lot on emotions, especially in children. Jake Sully and Neytiri don’t appear much in the first half. Also the character of the colonel could have been written better. To be honest, it’s less impressive than the first part.
James Cameron has proven once again that he is a master storyteller. He takes a simple story and tells it well in an exciting way. The script is a bit slow, but that’s all to make the action better. In terms of cinematography, background music and sound design, the film has everything perfect to give the audience a spectacular experience. The VFX is simply stunning and the 3D experience makes things even better.
Cutting a few scenes in both halves, and therefore a shorter running time, would have made Avatar 2 an excellent film. The underwater visuals are extremely stunning and the camera work is top notch. The climactic war scenes are amazing and the tactics used by Jack Sully and his team to defeat the enemies are also great.
Overall, Avatar: The Way Of Water is about family and emotions. The film has breathtaking underwater visuals that make one feel at home in the ocean world. The movie runs at a slow pace and one needs to spend over 3 hours to enjoy the visual spectacle. If you’re comfortable with a long runtime, watch on the biggest screen possible and experience this insane magnum opus.