The first Avatar movie, created and directed by James Cameron, was released in 2009 and gave the impression of a stand-alone film. It did phenomenally at the box office and remains the highest-grossing film of all time, making $2.9 billion. Viewers were promised a sequel, but as years passed, hope was lost.
But now, 13 years later, the wait is over. “Avatar: The Way of Water” is now in theaters.
The stakes are high for this sequel. Everyone’s eyes are on James Cameron to see if he can top his outstanding work, and after seeing this film, I can confidently say that Cameron exceeded all expectations.
If you have yet to watch the 2009 Avatar film, make sure to see it before heading to theaters to see “Avatar: The Way of Water,” so you don’t miss out on vital background for the sequel. This is not a movie to see without watching the prequel, as Cameron jumps straight into where Avatar left off.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” takes place several years after its prequel, and we start by learning that Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have recovered and thrived after the Sky People left, and they now have four children.
But when the Sky People return to the planet Pandora, determined to kill Jake and his family, he and Neytiri are forced to leave their home in the forest with the Omaticaya clan and hide out among the Metkayina clan in the Pandora islands and learn their ways.
The most outstanding aspect of this film, by far, is the CGI and special effects. Cameron’s team brings to life stunning concepts that are so realistic, they might just take your breath away.
The execution and details put into the creation of the landscapes, animals, planets and the Na’vi people are truly phenomenal. Every aspect is unique; I have never been more amazed by a film’s special effects.
The storyline of this film is perfectly paced, with slow, aesthetic scenes and white-knuckle battle scenes to balance it out. These aspects make you almost forget that “Avatar: The Way of Water” is over three hours long.
The rising action, conflict and conflict resolution don’t get lost throughout the film, and the plot is clear, which helps the viewers engage with the movie and helps the runtime fly by.
Even at slower points, where Cameron risks the possibility of boredom, he holds the audience’s attention with captivating CGI and cinematography.
If you’re asking yourself, “couldn’t the film be cut shorter?” The answer is yes. However, you’d miss out on scenes vital to the development of new characters in the franchise. Fortunately, the film doesn’t drag on; every moment of “Avatar: The Way of Water” is engaging.
Another impressive aspect of the film is the diversity of culture and language between the Na’vi clans. The Omaticaya clan and the Metkayina clan each have their own languages, with the Metkayina clan communicating by using sign language.
CJ Jones, a deaf actor, created a new sign language specifically for the film, making “Avatar: The Way of Water” one of the few, if not the only, film to have created an entire sign language.
Cameron’s commitment to creating unique culture and tradition goes to show his dedication to personifying both positive and negative human qualities of the Na’vi, which helps the audience form a connection to the members of these clans.
When the film came to a close, and the credits started rolling, the audience erupted into applause. However, the applause wasn’t just reserved for the ending, the crowd whistled and clapped during the underdog’s highly anticipated revenge scene. People were so moved, they just had to share their pride for Cameron.
If you have the opportunity to see this film in 3D, I absolutely recommend it. Seeing the Na’vi and their world even more up close and personal than before, is extraordinary and welcomes a whole new level of appreciation for the world Cameron created.
The mind of James Cameron will continue to amaze those of all generations and the Na’vi will continue to entertain on the big screen, with three more sequels expected to arrive in the coming years.
It’s safe to say that whether it be two more years, or 13 more years, the upcoming Avatar sequels will be well worth the wait.