Avatar: The Way of Water is the much-awaited sequel to one of the most-watched movies worldwide, Avatar (2009) and the second film in the Avatar franchise. It is directed by the legendary James Cameron, from a screenplay he co-wrote with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, with a story the trio wrote with Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno.
After a good 13 years following the release of the first movie, the sequel is finally here and Cameron has plans for three more Avatar movies to round it up.
Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Giovanni Ribisi, Dileep Rao, and Matt Gerald reprise their roles from the original film, with Sigourney Weaver returning in a different role. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco and Jemaine Clement.
In Way of the Water, Jake Sully (Worthington) and his family explore the oceans of Pandora to meet the Metkayina clan:
To ready ourselves for Way of the Water, my son Asher and I watched the first movie last weekend so we can bridge the plot continuity while it is still fresh in our memories.
I was expecting the movie to be at least three hours long, given Cameron’s track record for long, blockbuster hits. It clocked a 192 minutes runtime. All is good though, it did not feel an inch draggy and we enjoyed the movie thoroughly. Rambunctious cheers erupted from the preview audience at the beginning of the movie; during some of the tense, exciting scenes; and there was even a standing ovation at the end, something I have not experienced since Avengers: End Game.
I am not a fan of 3D movies. I wear glasses and I find the chunky 3D goggles extremely uncomfortable when it is wrapped over my glasses, not to mention the nauseating, giddy effects it has on the eyes and brain after prolonged viewing. For Way of the Water, three hours just flew by and I experienced no discomfort with the viewing (though I still do not like wearing the 3D goggles over my glasses). Cameron did it again, making significant cinematic advancements to bring you the best of 3D effects, experiencing the world of Pandora as if you are physically there yourself.
The first part of the movie serves as a summary to bridge the plot where it was last left off in the first movie, updating how Jake Sully is now settled in as a Na’vi, with a family of his own on Pandora; setting the context to bring back the human villains; and getting to know the new characters like the children in the Sully family.
Thereafter, the movie moves at breakneck speed, once the Sully met the coast-dwelling Metkayina clan, learning from them, the Way of the Water and the importance of the ocean and marine life conservation. Similar to the first movie, there is a not-so-subtle educational message on environmentalism.
The world of the Metkayina clan is as beautiful as that of the Na’vi and kudos to Cameron and his team for creating such stunning visual effects, making the best use of 3D cinematic to bring us into the natural world of Pandora. If you read all the reviews, even the worst critique would not dispute the cinematic beauty of the movie and for this alone, you will get your money worth for your ticket. I usually would not recommend watching a movie in 3D, but for Way of the Water, go for it!
Story-wise, Way of the Water follows a relatively predictable narrative, but is packed full of actions, ups and downs, more than enough to keep you glued to your seats and entertained from start till end.
There are a lot of thrilling battle scenes, more than the previous movie. So much that at some point, Asher and I were wondering if we were watching a war movie. If you love action-packed movie, you would love this. On a side note, this is probably the only movie I have seen whereby the humans are the bad guys and you are rooting for the aliens to win!
For the drama, romance and quieter side of things, Way of the Water have you covered too. As is comic relief and the parallel to serious real-life environmental issues. Everything you want in a movie, Way of the Water has it. Hence this is our recommended must-watch movie of the year for 2022.
For those hunting for previews of what is to come in the next three Avatar movies, while there is no end-credit trailer, there are many plot narratives and characters you can expect more from, sprinkled throughout the movie. I am expecting the “Monkey Boy”, the odd misfit human character living among the Na’vi to have a bigger role in what is to come:
Good for all ages and all audience, Avatar: The Way of the Water is now showing in Singapore cinemas. Go catch it!