Avatar: The Way of Water is an epic science fiction film directed by James Cameron, who co-wrote the screenplay with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver from a story the trio wrote with Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno. Produced by Lightstorm Entertainment and TSG Entertainment and distributed by 20th Century Studios, it is the sequel to Avatar (2009) and the second installment in the Avatar film series. The original Avatar was one of the most beautifully filmed movies of its time using Real 3D technology and had a great plot, which for me, made the sequel to be anticipated with bated breath. Way of Water lives up to the hype.
Twelve years after the Na’vi repelled the human invasion of Pandora by the Resources Development Administration (RDA), Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) lives as chief of the Omaticaya clan and raises a family with Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), which includes sons Neteyam (Jamie Flatters) and Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), daughter Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss), adopted daughter Kiri (Sigourney Weaver) who was born from Grace Augustine’s inert avatar, and a human boy named Miles Quaritch “Spider” Socorro (Jack Champion), the son of Colonel Miles Quaritch, who was born on Pandora and was unable to be transported to Earth in cryostasis due to his infancy. To the Na’vi’s dismay, the RDA returns to prepare Pandora for human colonization, as Earth is dying. Among the new arrivals are ‘recombinants’—Na’vi avatars implanted with the minds and memories of deceased human soldiers—with Quaritch’s recombinant serving as their leader. One year later, Jake is leading a guerilla campaign against the RDA. During a counterinsurgency mission, Quaritch and his subordinates capture Jake’s children.
The plot gets more complex as a new species of avatars is introduced. There are humans, who are referred to as “the Sky People” but are from the RDA organization, the original Na’vi people/avatars from Omaticaya (Led by Chief Jake and his family), the Metkayina Reef People Clan (who live on Pandora’s eastern seaboard, led by Chief Tonowari (Cliff Curtis) and his wife Ronal (Kate Winslet), are highly skilled at the way of water), and the hybrid humans that have been made into avatars (led by Quaritch) with their original memories. The humans and the hybrid avatars, both representing the RDA, are hellbent on revenge and colonizing the avatars. All the avatars want is to be left alone in peace to live their lives. This film was quite the adventure as I watched Jake and his family learn from the Reef People. The sea creatures were magnificent and a big part of their survival. The special effects were next level and the cinematography was breathtaking. The story was well told however, I thought the movie was too long, 3hrs and 12min. I was fully into Avatar: The Way of Water, therefore the time was less painful but there wasn’t an intermission. I enjoyed the movie and recommend it to all age groups.
As of January 3, 2023, Avatar: The Way of Water has grossed $457.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $1.025 billion in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.482 billion. With an estimated budget of $350–460 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 77% of 395 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.1/10. The website’s consensus reads, “Narratively, it might be fairly standard stuff—but visually speaking, Avatar: The Way of Water is a stunningly immersive experience.” Avatar: The Way of Water is currently in theaters – Check It Out!
FYI: Avatar: The Way of Water was nominated for five Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. It was named one of the ten best films of 2022 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute.
[AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER is Oscar-nominated at the 95th Academy Awards for BEST: Picture, Production Design, Sound, and Visual Effects — totaling 4 nominations]