Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) *** – Seen at the Cinema

Avatar: The Next Generation and the Rescue Marathon. Not sure about that, Jim, lacks punch. How about Avatar Meets Moby Dick? Hmm. You got a MacGuffin? Yep, the Earth is dying and the bad guys need to wipe out everyone on Pandora before they ship out the emigrants. And more Impossibilium? You’ll like this, this time we’re extracting anti-ageing serum from whales, worth $80 million a pop. And there’s also Avatar Meets The Titanic, seemed a shame to waste a ship going down.

So we don’t see as much of Sam Worthington this time round, is that right? Well, we’ve got to introduce his four kids, all approaching the rebellious stage, plus Spider, who’s maybe the son of the Quaritch (Stephen Lang) who was cloned before he died, plus the kids of the water king and of course all the kids squabble and make up and squabble again – you get the picture.

So how many rescues, exactly? To be honest I’ve lost count, but basically when A gets captured he needs rescued by B who then also gets captured and needs rescued by C who also gets captured and then…Yes, we get the picture.

Sigourney Weaver? Kate Winslet? Blink and you’ll miss them. But great for the marquee, right?

So, you see, with all these complications, you’re darned lucky I can manage to cram everything into a three-hour-plus running time.

Yep, it’s a bit of a mess, but the good news is while I might have been irritated by the narrative repetition I didn’t walk out. It certainly looks amazing. And you can’t top James Cameron for extended battle scenes. And there’s an emotional twist, starts out Jake protecting his family and ends up with his kids and wife saving him. Plus if you want woke, there’s a ton of Gaia-style philosophy.   

Author: Brian Hannan

I am a published author of books about film - over a dozen to my name, the latest being "When Women Ruled Hollywood." As the title of the blog suggests, this is a site devoted to movies of the 1960s but since I go to the movies twice a week - an old-fashioned double-bill of my own choosing - I might occasionally slip in a review of a contemporary picture.

8 thoughts on “Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) *** – Seen at the Cinema”

    1. My main complaints were the actual narrative not the world Cameron invented nor this technical ability in bringing it to life and i may well have been more impressed had I seen it in Imax 3D but i was sitting in the front row of the 2D experience so if I was going to be immersed it would have happened then. I liked the everything-connected stuff while managing to maintain the brutalities of nature. But if felt off-key to go so family and we’d already been done that road with Fast and Furious. None of the new characters I felt added anything to the story, it was complication not complexity and basically setting up Part III.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Part III and further more I think ’cause I heard Cameron has a complete saga in mind, kind of huge extra-human life chronicle. I like that ambition that disappeared years ago in the Lucas spirit. I think the family plot has something crucial in the mixed blood link they have. Way of Water extend that link with plants and animals, inventing new forms of communication, a connexion with the whole planet. And it thinks of future could handle with death. In 3D, it’s fascinating diving in these problematics. You should try. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m thinking you didn’t care much for it lol. I saw it in 3D Imax and was just blown away. My wife loved it as well…and she didn’t even like the original film. My point of view is this is not so much a movie as it is an event. Every penny Cameron spent looked to be on the screen and out of the speakers as far as I was concerned. I do think – even with a very simplistic plot – it has much to say about friendship and family, adolescence and parenthood. An immersive experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get the 3D Imax part but I often feel that’s a get-out clause. If you didn’t see it in this format or that format you missed out on something, which I fully understand because I’m always going on about seeing 70mm films in the cinema. I have no quibbles with the money spent or what appeared on the screen but I didn’t find anything new in what it said about family or adolescence and maybe I was wrong to have expected more of the gazillion-dollar budget to be spent on the screenplay.

      Liked by 1 person

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