Avatar: The Way of Water Review - James Cameron crafts a sequel that shatters the cinematic benchmarks set by the original
James Cameron has a stellar reputation when it comes to sequels thanks to two classic movies- 1986's Aliens and 1991's Terminator: Judgment Day, and I am happy to say that he has done it a third time with Avatar: The Way of Water.
The sequel improves on everything, whether it is the story, visual effects, or scale. Avatar 2 takes it to the next level, something many, including myself, were skeptical about.
The story is set ten years after the events of Avatar, with Jake Skully and Neytiri raising a family of five children. However, their idyllic lives are turned upside down when the humans return to Pandora.
After the humans sent a death squad led by Colonel Miles Quaritch's Na'vi clone to hunt Jake and his family, they are forced to leave their tribe and seek shelter with the coastal tribe known as the Metkayina.
The only real issue I had with the movie is its bloated screenplay which had a bit too many story arcs and not all of them are given a satisfying conclusion nor does the screenplay do a good job balancing between them.
This does lead to a few editing choices that don't make much sense and are a bit jarring, but James Cameron uses the spectacular visuals on display to distract you from these issues just like he did with Avatar in 2009.
So ultimately these issues can be overlooked and I'm sure there is a director's cut for this movie that will be out sometime before the release of the third installment in the franchise that will fix these issues.
The visual effects are spectacular, amazing, mind-blowing, or whatever adjective you want to use, as they will not entirely express how it felt watching this movie on the big screen.
As I watched the movie there was something about the motion capture performances by the cast that I couldn't put my finger on but I did manage to figure it out during this movie's incredible final act and that is it looks real, it actually looks like it's just a bunch of actors in blue makeup rather than something done in a studio.
Something else I did notice in the final act of the movie is that it does feel like a throwback to James Cameron's previous movies like Terminator, The Abyss, and Titanic.
The sequel shares the same theme in its plot as the original, it is a story of Man Vs Nature and environmental conservation and at the same time it does also explore to a small degree issues like immigration and the importance of adapting to change.
Avatar 2 is a definite must-watch and should be experienced in theaters as it will be a benchmark on visual effects and larger-than-life storytelling in the years to come.
Avatar: The Way of Water is currently running in theaters.