Travel back to Pandora for one of the most jaw dropping, transcendent movie going experiences of all time. No one does sequels better than James Cameron.
Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the extrasolar moon Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their home.
Aliens, Terminator 2 and now The Way of Water, I do dub thee James Cameron the King of movie sequels. It’s been 13 years since he once again claimed the throne of cinema. Movie criticism and just the overall landscape of movies has changed so much since the last time we travelled to Pandora. So we’re off. James Cameron is back and it was worth the wait. Avatar: The Way of Water is nothing short of spectacular, something that you will honestly remember forever. A movie going experience for the ages.
James Cameron teamed up with some of the best writers in science fiction, to deliver an emotional, thunderous, breathtaking thrill ride. The first Avatar blew audiences away across the globe and this promises to be no different. In one year we got a pair of top notch sequels. Between this and Top Gun: Maverick, waiting to make the perfect sequel really pays off with each movie. Patience is virtue and that’s why The Way of Water is a triumph. Time to craft a perfect blend of action, emotion, faith and ground breaking visuals, Cameron waited this long so he could complete a masterpiece. A movie like this just wasn’t possible 10 years ago, even 5 years ago.
So we return to Pandora and a lot has changed. It’s been 10 years since the events of the first and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have started a family and are the most important people of their tribe. Family is the main driving factor in this movie. “Sully’s stick together” is the biggest strength and weakness of this close knit family. Big Jim is a family man himself, and this movie is a story about fathers and their sons. The relationships between them and what it means to have your father either be proud of you, or want more out of you. I would say the Sully kids are the backbone of this film. They are the emotional weight that carries it and without a doubt on screen for the longest time. Including their pseudo adopted human son Spider (Jack Champion). I don’t want to say that Mom’s take a back seat in this movie, but the bond between father and sons is honestly the focal point of the film. How we bond with our fathers and there’s even a subplot that showcases the bond between man and animal. That reminds us just how important having any bond in our life can be.
I knew going into Avatar exactly how the movie would shake up. The first hour would be a reintroduction to Pandora and the characters while we get reemerged into this gorgeous world. While the second half would be a tour of the beautiful water, a visually stunning experience and the third act would be what Jim does best. I wasn’t wrong, the last hour is some of the best action I’ve seen in a movie in years, while showcasing the most visually stunning images since honestly, the first Avatar. The emotion is high, the action hits hard and we are rooting for this family to succeed.
Big Jim also knows how to make a great villain. His best villains are all true haters, they will stop at nothing to get the job done, even if it means death. Stephen Lang returns as Quaritch and I won’t spoil how, but I really liked how they were able to bring all these people back that we lost in the first movie, it made the movie feel more personable.
The reason to come to this movie is the film making. It’s practical, impressive, immersive, other worldly, created with both science and technology. This isn’t something you watch on an airplane or your TV at home. You would be doing yourself and injustice by doing so. It’s truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and something that I will want to see again in theatres. The performances are fantastic, especially Zoe Saldana, who gives arguably the most emotional performance of the movie. Great villains, a grounded and simple story, and a world that you just wish were real.
How we view this movie will come down to money, which is sad. That’s how all movies are judged these days. It’s hard to top one of the most successful movies of all time. I’m sure The Way of Water will be a juggernaut at the box-office but will it be enough? I’m not sure. I know it will be nominated for a ton of awards and people from across the world will remember this movie going experience for a long time. Sometimes the experience is worth more than box-office success.
Thank you James Cameron and I can’t wait to return to Pandora. He’s conquered the land and sea. I wonder if he’s taking Pandora to the air next?
Avatar: The Way of Water = 92/100