Avatar: The Way of Water Review

*This is a hard movie to spoil, but still…

IMDB Synopsis

Jake Sully and Ney’tiri have formed a family and are doing everything to stay together. However, they must leave their home and explore the regions of Pandora. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a difficult war against the humans.

“I know one thing: wherever we go, this family… is our fortress.”

I have been watching movies for a long time at this point, and if I have learned one lesson, it is do not ever doubt James Cameron.  He shocked the world creating THE TERMINATOR, he took greatness to another level with ALIENS, he changed moviemaking with TERMINATOR 2, he became the biggest director in the world with TITANIC, he broke all his own records and changed movies again with AVATAR, and now he is back to do it again with AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. 13 years after the phenomenon of the first movie we finally get the sequel and it absolutely, for me, was worth the wait.

We have known for awhile this story was going to focus on the oceans of Pandora, which makes sense considering Cameron’s obsession with water. So we get a first act catch up and lay of the land until Jake Sully and Neytiri’s family is forced to move to another area of Pandora and become members of the reef people. All of this to get away from Colonel Quaritch, back as a killer Avatar, and his team because they feel Jake is the only think standing in the way of them taking over Pandora. What makes this movie superior to the previous movie is the investment in the characters though and the attachment you have to the Sully family. All the kids have their own personalities and you really care for them in every scene.

We also get to tour around the wonders of Pandora and see the magic that James Cameron created. He has created all new creatures like the incredible tulkun whale things, and seeing the evolutionary differences between the forest Na’vi and the reef people was super interesting. The main difference being the shade of blue skin and the tails. The reef people tail has evolved for their life at sea and is an incredible whip that helps propel them through the water. We also see them teaching the Sully family how to slow down their breathing in order to stay under the water longer. All of it culminating in one of the most incredible final act battles you will see on film. No one knows how to do action on a big scale like James Cameron and it shows here.

On the technical side this is of course where this movie shines. There has not really been a movie since the original Avatar that has truly demanded a 3D viewing, but Big Jim built 3D cameras for this movie and you simply have to see it in that format. The frame rate makes the movie just look like nothing you have ever seen and creates one of the most spectacular viewing experiences you can have in a movie theater. Also the people swimming you would think is CGI but it is all motion capture, to the point where Kate Winslet held her breath at one point for 7 and a half minutes underwater! (Read that again) No one makes movies like this and it shows on the screen. If you watch this then try to watch a Marvel movie since ENDGAME you will see they just are not even in the same world.

Stock Watch

Stock Neutral – Sam Worthington

His story is so weird but he really does not do much outside of the AVATAR franchise. He was in the CLASH OF THE TITANS movies, and a bad TERMINATOR movie, but we really have not seen him since the first movie. He is so good at this character though, the emotion, the power and the energy he brings is just perfect. I am happy he is leading this franchise.

Stock Neutral – Zoe Saldana

The franchise queen these days, she does not get as much to do in this as I thought she would but still has some great moments. She has a scene where she gets to show her rage about one of her children being kidnapped and it is genuinely horrifying.

*A couple other tidbits

  • Sigourney Weaver as the 14 year old girl was weird, I am sorry it just was.
  • All the kids in this movie are a bunch of brats.
  • Kate Winslet and Cliff Curtis were stunning as the leaders of the reef tribe.
  • The Spider character got a bit annoying, however I understand the story needed him to be a bridge to the humans.
  • Even though it could have been derivative Stephen Lang is just a classic hateable villain again and I loved it.

James Cameron absolutely pulled it off again here. This is a cinematic viewing that cannot be missed because we simply do not get movies like this, ever. It is not perfect, but as a full experience it truly is something to behold. And after 13 years of waiting, with all they hype surrounding it, he exceeded expectations again. Bravo Jim you are a god of Cinema.

Juice Rating:

*You can find my 2022 Movie Rankings here.

*You can find my James Cameron Rankings here.

*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.

*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.

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