'Avatar: The Way of Water' Is A Groundbreaking Cinematic Achievement
By Sal LoCicero | December 18, 2022 (UPDATED: May 20, 2023)
It’s been 13 years and I could still remember the first time James Cameron introduced audiences to the world of Pandora. It was unlike anything viewers had seen before. Although a sequel was promised, it did not come right away. With delay after delay, after delay (and so on), James Cameron has finally released the long awaited sequel, ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’.
Taking place 15 years later in Pandora, Jake Sully is living a peaceful Na’vi life with his wife Neytiri. They had three of their own children, one adopted child, and a teenager named "Spider", who has had a close friendship with Jake and Neytiri's kids. When the “Sky” people return back to Pandora, destroying the Na’vi land, the Sully family and their tribe search for a new home. While more breeds of avatars, including Colonel Quartich, seek revenge on Jake.
The first ‘Avatar’ was - and still is - a technical masterpiece. It brought 3D back into the norm and was the first ever feature to gross $2 billion dollars worldwide. After the success of the first, Cameron took some time to think of a storyline for the sequel, and what was originally planned to be a trilogy, was later turned into a franchise. Then came the technology, and due to how determined they were to develop the advanced tech, production was delayed even longer, and to add even more years to the project, both ‘The Way of Water’ and Avatar 3 were shot together.
James Cameron is known for making some of the best movie sequels of all time, with ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ and ‘Aliens’. People have also doubted his abilities to make most of the features that have become iconic in pop culture. With the ‘Avatar’ films, a lot of fans were against the idea of him continuing these movies.
‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ further proves why James Cameron is the greatest filmmaker of all time (as well as “The King of Sequels”). This sequel is vastly superior to the first movie. The tone has changed and the story - while pretty simple - is executed even more effectively. The reason why each sequel Cameron has made exceeds its predecessor, is because everything that was shown before is further explored here. The message about family and its true meaning is where the emotional element comes into play, allowing the audience to identify with the characters.
The visual effects are jaw-dropping and mind blowing, it is unlike anything you have ever seen. How James Cameron managed to pull this off shall remain a mystery. Every single image is astounding. The underwater sequences are overwhelmingly joyful to look at. The use of 3D is so immersive that you don’t feel like you’re watching a movie, rather than living in one. The only thing that is unfortunate about this 3 hour and 12 minute epic is that blockbusters like this are so rare nowadays.
The final act is breathtaking and will have you on the edge of your seat. The performances are fantastic, especially from Zoe Saldana who will have you speechless during the last 20 minutes. Sigourney Weaver as Kiri (the adopted daughter) steals your heart whenever she is on screen. Sam Worthington gives a great performance as Jake Sully, given how his character developed from a paraplegic former marine to a Na’vi father dealing with his children. Stephen Lang as Quartich is much more menacing.
Over a decade later, James Cameron is still a mastermind. ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ is not only a must-see theatrical experience, but it could be the start to a game changing franchise.
What are your thoughts?