Avatar: The Way of Water — Our Non-Spoiler Movie Review

We’ve been patiently waiting and now the big day is finally here! No, we aren’t talking about Santa coming down our chimney with presents…that’s next weekend. What we’re excited about is the theatrical release of “Avatar: The Way of Water” and how we waited 13 years for the highly-anticipated sequel! So, what did we think about James Cameron’s follow-up to the epic 2009 film? Below is our non-spoiler review of the sequel!

First of all, “Avatar: The Way of Water” is a beautiful movie to see on the big screen. It has scenes that will mesmerize you and make you feel in awe of the underwater wonders. We recommend seeing it in 3D!

The sequel takes viewers on a journey to At’wa Attu, a tropical island reef on Pandora. A decade has passed since the events of the 2009 movie, so the first act reintroduces us to Jake Sully, his now-wife, Neytiri, and their children. They reside with the Na’vi in the Hallelujah Mountains, but a series of events ends with them relocating to a tropical island with gorgeous aquatic settings. 

Meanwhile, the resource-burning villains of the first movie are back. They’re fighting to colonize Pandora so that the people of Earth can have a future. They’ve redoubled their efforts to claim Pandora’s resources, but continue to face resistance from the inhabitants. It’s an interesting story arc reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back. After all, we see a villainous group who learned from their losses in the first movie. Now they are back with new strategies, equipment and surprising reinforcements.

On the island, Jake and his family form an alliance with the Metkayina clan, who look a lot like the Na’vi except that their skin is light teal and they have a culture dedicated to the sea (i.e. The Way of Water). It’s a departure from the forests of the first movie, but we don’t mind. The new locations are visually stunning and we enjoyed learning more about the sea creatures living in the oceans of Pandora.

We will say the narrative and storytelling is significantly different in the sequel. Here, we meet returning characters when they are at a new stage in life. The responsibilities of being a parent is quite different from being a single adult. We see that concept explored in Jake’s family unit and how his children are unique characters. The movie does spend quite some time in introducing them and the other new characters. It’s hard to say more without spoilers, but we did enjoy the addition of the new characters.

Overall, I want to give this film a 9/10. It’s fantastic and truly a movie you must see on the big screen. 

We loved the musical score, cinematography, acting, and impressive visuals. However, the movie is quite long ( runtime is 3 hours 12 minutes) and features a robust cast of characters. It can be a tad overwhelming at times when you’re trying to keep track of everyone and their story arc. There’s a few times where we see a character missing screen time for over 25-40 minutes and that can feel awkward at times. It’s almost like binging a streaming series where an episode might not feature a character or two. It’s fine in television, but the longer absences can be harder for movie audiences. 

We loved this movie and would seriously reconsider seeing it again in theaters because of the beautiful scenery.

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

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