Avatar: The Way of Water
192 mins(3 out of 5)
Reviewed by: Alessia Belsito-Riera
Director James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water continues the saga upon the moon Pandora. Ex-human, ex-marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) has established a family with Na’vi partner Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) and they live in prosperous happiness. However, when the humans return to Pandora to extract its resources, Jake and his family are hunted. They escape to the safety of the island nations of the Metkayina people… or so they thought.
Centered heavily on the importance of family, Avatar also highlights themes of bravery and loyalty, underscoring the importance of doing the right thing and staying strong in the face of adversity. Avatar continues its commentary on environmental destruction, paralleling the ruination of Pandora through resource extraction to the devastation of our own planet by a common enemy: humans.
Avatar: The Way of Water is a visual tour de force and, unsurprisingly, a milestone in the world of CGI and VFX. Featuring new technologies from Wellington’s own Weta Workshop, the film is exceedingly beautiful. With an immersive seascape as the setting for this episode of the Avatar series, every new creature, every element of flora, every tiny detail is saturated with vitality and vibrancy; every being breathes with the eager effervescence of new creation. Russell Carpenter’s cinematography paired with a 3D experience, well balanced to be immersive but not overwhelming, ensures the viewer experiences the story from within Pandora herself, dripping and oozing with life.
Though Avatar is visually arresting and undeniably groundbreaking, the exceedingly lengthy runtime – of which a substantial amount is taken up by a repetitive unending final battle – leaves much to be desired. The dialogue’s informality feels incongruous and distracting. Though the story itself has some poignant and interesting moments, it essentially mimics the first movie with the classic trope of human vs Na’vi, good vs evil.
Nevertheless, Avatar: The Way of Water is an incredible and unparalleled visual experience that is definitely worth a watch.