Avatar: The Way of Water

In 2009, James “Jim” Cameron’s “Avatar” opened worldwide becoming the highest grossing film of all time accumulating a total of $2.9 billion from its theatrical release and re-releases. Jim mapped out sequels starting with the second installment, “Avatar: The Way of Water” continuing Jake Sully & Neytiri’s adventures. Once the script is completed, Jim and Peter Jackson’s special effects company Weta Digital took their time upgrading Motion Capture suits allowing the actors to swim underwater. Besides perfecting Motion Capture technology, The Way of Water was delayed a few times with Jim filming the aforementioned sequel and a third movie back-to-back taking Peter Jackson’s notes filming “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” Another delay is the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the Cast and Crew to halt production. After thirteen years of lengthy development, Avatar: The Way of Water was officially completed. Recently, the film got nominated at The Golden Globes for “Best Drama.” With a grand total of $2 billion combining production costs and marketing, the sequel needs to break even if it wants to exceed its budget.

Today’s review contains crucial SPOILERS from the first and second movie. If you’re not up to date, read at your own risk. Is The Way of Water an improvement of the last installment or a disappointment? Let’s find out, shall we?

Hydrated & Dehydrated Aspects

Hydrated: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang & Giovanni Ribisi (in a cameo appearance) reprise their roles. They all did an excellent job for their respective performances. Despite Grace’s death from the first film, Sigourney Weaver plays Jake & Neytiri’s adopted daughter Kiri.

Newcomers to the sequel such as Kate Winslet, Jemaine Clement & Edie Falco all did a solid job for their respective performances.

James “Jim” Cameron did a solid job on technical aspects taking his time to upgrade Visual Effects. Specifically filming underwater scenes. Motion Capture suits and C.G.I. deserve Bonus Points for taking Special Effects on another level.

Fun Fact: Edward Norton (my fifth favorite actor) was considered for a role. He wanted to portray a Na’vi. He turned down the offer as a human character in favor of working with Daniel Craig in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” and working with Wes Anderson in “Asteroid City.” Thank goodness he dodged a bullet.

Action Sequences are pretty dang good. The underwater battles are worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, the story falls flat on its face.

Miles Quaritch comes back from the dead (via DNA sample of his human memories) as an avatar. His goal is to seek revenge on Jake & Neytiri

After James Horner’s untimely death, Simon Franglen orchestrated the soundtrack.

Primary Themes are Family, Survival & Civilization. Each theme is handled maturely.

Dehydrated: Despite an impressive feat solely on technical aspects, Jim made big boo boos. For instance, the story’s labeled in one word, BOGUS.

Pacing can be slow at times. If you have a short attention span, you’re gonna be miserably bored. The Second Act takes forever with The Sully Family attempting to live in a new tribe.

A Plot Hole involving why didn’t Miles’ men lock Spider in a cell? He manages to dodge a random soldier’s attack.

How the actual heck did Grace’s avatar get pregnant? Even Jake’s kids joke Kiri’s unknown father. So, in this case, the future doesn’t have a galactic version of ancestry.com In the words of Dark Helmet from “Spaceballs.” “Even in the future nothing works!”

Near the end, Spider spares his father’s life. Forgot to tell you he and Miles are related. Spider doesn’t realize Miles nearly killed his adoptive sister Kiri. Perhaps a poor excuse to save Miles for the next movie.

The new tribe Recombinants are incredibly dull like Richard Linklater’s so-called masterpiece, “Boyhood.” They’re not interesting at all. I’d rather watch Bob Hope’s force ghost entertaining the troops. Sorry folks, I didn’t like Boyhood.

Camera occasionally zooms in a random subject. Which reminds me of the absurd number of rapid zooms from “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist.” The aforementioned film’s a parody. Avatar’s sequel is not.

As the End Credits commence, nobody in the screening room clapped their hands. YIKES!

The Final Verdict: C-

Avatar: The Way of Water is the biggest disappointment since “The Rise of Skywalker.” James Cameron lost his streak. He used to make amazing movies. Most notably, my all-time eighth favorite film “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” If you wanna save your money, wait for The Way of Water on Disney Plus. Save it for Brendan Fraser’s “The Whale” & “Babylon.” These are the two films I’m eager to see before 2023. I’m puzzled The Way of Water got nominated at The Golden Globes for “Best Drama” instead of Robert Pattinson’s “The Batman.” I have zero interest in “Avatar 3.” If you wanna see sequel ten times better than the original, I strongly recommend my number one favorite movie of 2022, “Top Gun: Maverick.”

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