Avatar: The Way Of Water – Review
After more than a decade after the original film broke all kinds of box office records and revolutionised 3D films, the first sequel, “The Way Of Water”, finally hits cinemas on the 16th of December 2022.
The film picks up over a decade after the events of the first film, where Jake Sulley and Neytiri were able to defeat the humans, sending them packing from Pandora. And as you might expect, us humans didn’t take to kindly to that and have come back to Pandora, looking to not just mine the planet for resources, but now fully take over, as Earth is dying.
And when the humans arrive back on Pandora, the Sulley family have to leave the forest to keep their children safe, so they head out to the islands, to hide from the humans, and it’s there, that they must adapt to living with the water, how to hold their breath, how to connect with the local animals and ultimately, find a new home. But, as you might expect, things don’t go according to plan, and trouble follows them, leading to some epic battles, in the air, on land and in the water.
Coming in at over three hours long, there is plenty of time to see the growth of not just Jake, but of his children too, who, much like with the first film, where we saw the world of Pandora through Jake’s eyes, this film shifts to the kids learning “the way of water”. We get to see their joy and wonder, of discovering this beautiful world.
There isn’t any other way to say this about “Avatar: The Way Of Water”, it looks absolutely stunning. The rainforests of Pandora look even more breathtaking. The rock islands above the clouds are amazing. And the underwater scenes are, honestly, one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in a film. The water looks so bright, and colourful, with rich colours that reminded me of scuba diving off a coral reef.
And then there is the sound, as there are times when the cinema shook, making it feel like you were in the middle of the action. Other than the original “Avatar” film, I’ve never felt like a film ever needed to be in 3D. It felt like a gimmick that was long gone. But the 3D in this film just brings the world to life.
However, there are a few moments in the film, where the picture was so clear, that the CGI effects looked a little off, and one of my only criticisms about how the film looks, is how during some of the action scenes, the frame rate is so fast, it feels like its either slightly too fast or playing a video game. Back at the D23 Expo, I got to see a few clips from the film, and it had made me wonder if I wanted to see the film in 3D at all. So much so, that I actually booked a 2D ticket for opening day. But having seen the film in 3D at the cinema, I’m so so glad I’ve seen it this way. When the credits started to roll, I actually say the word, WOW, out loud, as I was extremely impressed with the whole film. Even though I’ve already seen the film, I’m going to go see the film again when it comes out, because it was that good.
There are also a few moments with some strobe lighting, so just be on the lookout for that. These issues didn’t distract from the overall impression of the film. It’s a masterpiece in terms of technical wizardry.
The reason this film is so long, is because it takes you on a journey. It doesn’t rush the introduction to the amazing world under the sea. It takes its time, allows you to breathe, takes in the beauty and experiences it with the kids.
One of the things I loved about this film, was its fundamental story of humans wrecking a world to exploit it, destroying anything in the way, just to make money, with little to no thought to the outcome of their actions. At least in the first film, we got to see the science team’s love of nature throughout, but in this film, humans are very much shown as the villains. Plus, we also have an elite team of Avatar’s tracking down Sulley and his family. This team of Avatar’s evens the playing field a little, since while the humans have their machines, when it comes to a proper fight, there’s more at stake. Plus, there’s a whole other subplot involving a small boy who is raised on Pandora, which is one of the most interesting aspects of the whole film.
“Avatar: The Way Of Water” is an amazing movie. It captures the heart of a family beautifully and tells a similar story to the original film, but now, you feel even more for the Navi people. It is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen, and even though this website is all about Disney+, you’ve got to watch this in 3D at a cinema to get the full “Avatar: The Way Of Water” experience.
Score: 5 Out Of 5
“Avatar: The Way Of Water” is coming to cinemas on December 16th 2022, and will be coming to Disney+ in 2023.