Home Avatar: The Way Of Water

Avatar: The Way Of Water (12A)

Cast: Zoe Saldana, Jamie Flatters, Sam Worthington, Trinity Bliss, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, Jack Champion, Bailey Bass
Genre: Action
Author(s): Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa, James Cameron
Director: James Cameron
Release Date: 16/12/2022
Running Time: 192mins
Country: US
Year: 2022

Marine veteran Jake Sully permanently inhabits his Na'vi body to proudly serve as fierce protector of the Omatikaya clan on Pandora. He is happily settled with wife Neytiri, their three biological children Neteyam, Lo'ak and Tuktirey and adopted daughter Kiri. Heavily armed forces return to the moon and Colonel Miles Quaritch is charged with leading an elite team to capture Jake. The Sully clan abandons the Hallelujah Mountains and seeks safe harbour in a reef village of the Metkayina tribe.


LondonNet Film Review

Avatar: The Way Of Water (12A) Film Review from LondonNet

At the end of his 1998 Academy Awards acceptance speech as Best Director of Titanic, James Cameron famously screamed: “I’m the king of the world!” He has fulfilled that boast by reclaiming the title of highest-grossing film of all time from Avengers: Endgame with a recent re-release of the 2009 blockbuster Avatar. Like Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay, Cameron is passionately dedicated to the adrenaline rush of the big screen experience and films don’t come much bigger – or more expensive – than Avatar: The Way Of Water…

In this opening salvo of four sequels, he expands digitally rendered horizons from Pandora’s bioluminescent forests to the moon’s teeming oceans and resplendent atolls, providing audiences with a compelling reason to immerse fully in eye-popping 3D and IMAX. It’s a dizzying sensory overload that can’t be replicated at home or on a streaming service; a jaw-dropping, photorealistic spectacle that harnesses new software and technology to enable performance capture underwater for the first time. Every rock, leaf and minuscule element of background detail feels exquisitely real and when characters venture beneath waves, Cameron and cinematographer Russell Carpenter play beautifully with shimmering light including a bombastic action set piece that revisits the swirling, water-logged terror of Titanic.

Like its predecessor, Avatar: The Way Of Water springs a few leaks in terms of plot and dialogue (one father-son dynamic is noticeably undernourished). However, the script, co-written by Cameron, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, is more emotionally rich than the initial foray into Pandora. I cried three times and was too engrossed to be troubled by a 192-minute running time, almost half an hour longer than the original.

Marine veteran Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) permanently inhabits his Na’vi body to proudly serve as Toruk Makto, fierce protector of the Omatikaya clan on Pandora. Peace has been restored after the battle royale with the Resources Development Administration (RDA) for control of the precious mineral unobtainium. Jake is settled with his wife Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), their three biological children Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo’ak (Britain Dalton) and Tuktirey (Trinity Bliss) and adopted daughter Kiri (Sigourney Weaver). Orphaned human child Spider (Jack Champion) remained on Pandora in the aftermath of war with scientist Norm Spellman (Joel David Moore) and is a close ally of the Sully brood.

The heavily armed RDA returns under the command of General Francis Ardmore (Edie Falco) to prepare the moon for human colonisation. Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) is charged with leading an elite team to capture Jake and extinguish the insurgency. The Sully clan abandon the Hallelujah Mountains where banshees roost and invoke the Na’vi tradition of Uturu, which grants them safe harbour in a reef village of the Metkayina tribe led by Tonowari (Cliff Curtis) and Ronal (Kate Winslet).

In this idyllic island outpost, the refugees learn valuable diving skills from Tonowari and Ronal’s children Tsireya (Bailey Bass) and Aonung (Filip Geljo), forge spiritual bonds to sentient whale-like creatures called the tulkun, and prepare for the next battle with avaricious human invaders.

Avatar: The Way Of Water is an unabashedly splashy and bombastic survival thriller that lives up to the cacophonous hype and surpasses the original, delivering a more satisfying experience for the heart to match bountiful delights for the ears and eyes. Cameron revisits Aliens and The Abyss alongside Titanic in breathless set-pieces while Worthington, Saldana and Winslet exercise performance-captured dramatic muscles in fraught scenes of intergenerational conflict that remind us every war has casualties. Even the young. The director’s reputation emerges from this skirmish unscathed.

– Jo Planter


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