Avatar The Way of Water Review : Spectacle all the Way

Avatar:The Way of Water is a spectacle of an experience. An experience which is only to be experienced on the biggest possible screen. It may have its routine storyline and cliché characters but the movie carriers itself through its great direction and breathtaking VFX. The scale and sights of Pandora are beautiful and worth the experience in the theater.

Avatar The Way of Water Review : Spectacle all the Way

Avatar The Way of Water, is a film which has been in the making for a long time. Announced back in 2010, and the movie and its sequels were set to release in 2014. After a tumultuous development of several years, the shooting of the film took three long years, from 2017 to 2020. After lengthy post-production, the movie is finally out for everyone to see.

Even after being the biggest movie ever, Avatar has left no real cultural impact. Personally, I never really cared for the film. It seemed more like a technical demo with a basic story than anything else. Through the first movie’s spectacles, the story and character were the weakest part of it.

Avatar The Way of Water is very much like its predecessor, mostly for good. It doubles down on the spectacle and themes of the original; while there are many flaws, it still carries the movie delivers in many other ways. 

Avatar The Way of Water is now playing in theatres.

Avatar: The Way of Water | Official Trailer

Story – Picking Up After Long

The story sets itself up to be a way more interesting one than the original. Avatar, The Way of Water, picks up after Jake Sully fully becomes a Na’vi. It is seen in a montage on how Zoe Saldana, as Neytiri and Jake get busy and raise a family. This seems to fast-forward years with very few humans left on the planet. The movie shows a stereotypical family with four kids. The movie skips around a bit here, with Jake being completely integrated now. The humans or the sky people return. This time with a more monumental goal of terraforming the planet.

Jake Sully in Avatar The Way of Water

Jake Sully in Avatar The Way of Water

All this while Colonel Miles, the villain from the last movie, is back as an Avatar. He is pissed and a scenery-chewing stereotypical bad general. It is a fun performance, and he is given the goal of hunting Jake, the leader of the Na’vi insurgency against the humans. In order to save his tribe, Jake, along with his family, leaves the tribe to the far-away water tribes for shelter with many new wonders and issues. This is the basic set-up of the story with minimal spoilers.

Themes and the World

The movie is clearly evoking a similar sense of Technology versus nature to the first movie. But now, unlike the original, it hits way better personally. The way the world of Pandora works is genuinely very well thought out and compelling. The way humans destroy everything on their way can be seen.

Rising a family in Pandora

Rising a family in Pandora

The Stroy draws many parallels between the Native Americans and their colonization. It is a heavy yet well-done theme with how the world of pandora is actively trying to fight this technological invasion. The direction and visuals help this all the way.

Characters and Performances – Adequeatly Cliche

It is cliché along with the characters too. Jake Sully is now the strong and brooding dad, and Neytiri is the worried Mom with kids who can be easily categorized as The perfect elder brother, the screw-up younger brother, The perky adopted kid and the young, innocent one. Before all this could be more and more like a sitcom, there is even an outside kid who is human; he is a human child who grew up with the Na’vi raised by them. It is an interesting direction for the story.

The Water Tribes

The Water Tribes

All these clichés in the hands of a lesser director would be unbearable. But James Cameron makes them work. I do not care for most of the characters, but the situations and how the story proceeds is still compelling. This is one of the rare movies where the character is cardboard cutouts for the themes and the setting.

VFX & Cinematography – Absolutely stunning

The movie looks absolutely breathtaking. The VFX are exceptionally well done to the point where all the superhero flicks (even the good ones) look years behind. It is a master class in how these characters look near perfect. While being really damn believable. The movie’s cinematography elevates that with the vistas and the colours. The music is not the most memorable, but it is really well done and fits great for the movie. The action scenes are well done with small creative set pieces which do feel very epic and look excellent.

Cinematography and Visuals of Avatar 2

Cinematography and Visuals of Avatar 2

This is not an experience one should skip and must be experienced in movie theatres. Ideally, in IMAX and 3D, the format I have seen and experienced.

Editing & pacing – Long but well done

The movie is long, clocking in at about 3 hours and 20 minutes. But it is edited and paced exceptionally well. The pacing is deliberately slow. The movie feels its length because it takes a lot to build up to the climax. The movie is very indulgent, just like its predecessor in how this world of Pandora works. It is fascinating to see how it is built, but the slowness of the movie’s first two acts is sprinkled with enough moments to keep it fresh. But on the whole, it is really well done, as I did not really think it wasted much of that long running time. Once the climax hits, its way faster-paced, and the payoff feels worth the wait for it.

Summary
Avatar: The Way of Water is a spectacle of an experience. An experience which is only to be experienced on the biggest possible screen. It may have its routine storyline and cliched characters, but the movie carries itself through its great direction and breathtaking VFX. The scale and sights of Pandora are beautiful and worth the experience in the theatre. Avatar: The Way of Water, is a movie that I wanted to love, which I ended up liking.
Good
  • Epic Scale and Spectacle
  • Strong Themes and Setting
  • Beautiful Cinematography
  • Spectacular VFX and effects
Bad
  • Cliched Characters
  • Long running time
7.5
Good

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