Avatar: The Way of Water
review by Bobby Blakey
In 2009 director James Cameron destroyed the box office with the release of Avatar that to this day is still the highest grossing film of all time. There have been talks of him bringing new chapters to the story since its original success and groundbreaking effects. Now the first of the planned three new films Avatar: The Way of Water is finally almost here. The new chapter features old and new cast including Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephan Lange, Kate Winslet, Giovanni Ribisi, Jemaine Clement, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, and CCH Pounder. Could this return to Pandora be worth the long wait or will it fail to keep its head above water?
Avatar: The Way of Water follows Jake Sully who lives with his newfound family formed on the planet of Pandora more than a decade after the events in the previous film. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na'vi race to protect their planet.
I have to say that I was never that big of a fan of the original film. I thought it looked awesome and had some great action, but just never really sucked me in. After revisiting it recently for the first time since its release I found myself enjoying it quite a bit more than previously. That got me a bit more excited to see this new chapter and the look of the trailer had me pretty interested to see what Cameron had up his sleeve. Is there any way that the film lives up to the original? The answer is yes and then some.
It’s baffling to say that he took what was so amazing back in 2009 and made it better. This is just a better film than the original all around, but not without its flaws. One of the things I loved the most here is that
almost all the movie is just focused on the world of the Na’vi with very little in the way of humans. Make no mistake they are here and in full force, but the back and forth is gone and it allows to just stay with them as we meet a new version of them and their way of life.
Part of what makes the original so great is the attention to detail of the Na’vi culture and it is amped up this time around as we meet the Metkayina reef people. It’s not only cool that it is expanding the world of Pandora with new races, but also exploring new cultures and ways of life. IT’s well known that Cameron is all about the Ocean and environment with the first movie really smashing the protecting the environment message home. This is front center once again with an obvious focus on the oceans and their beauty. There are so many amazing underwater visuals with the attention to detail being a sight to behold.
With all the ocean life comes the issues of people and they take part of the action to even showcase the horrors of whale poaching in a unique, but heartbreaking way. With the film Cameron has surprising out done himself creating yet another breathtaking visual treat for the audiences that is brilliance to behold. There is a beauty here that is hard not to let into your soul as you take this journey even when the ugliness of violence destroys it.
This is damn near a perfect film and one I love, but there are a couple of elements that could have been fleshed out or ditched altogether. There is a story about a savage kid that is initially great, but then it just isn’t handled right and had me questioning a lot of the characters behaviors and not in a good way. The pacing is great, but with it running over 3 hours there are a lot of sequences that could have been trimmed as they are not pushing the story forward and just long takes showcasing the world. This is welcome in regards to the beauty it showcases, but not for the moving of the story itself. There are also times where it does feel like it is rehashing things from the first film, but still works well enough to go all in.
There are some returning characters that theoretically don’t make sense and others that leave more questions, but they are handled well to keep you invested. With knowing that Cameron is hoping to do five films when it is all said and done there is enough here at the end to expand on and continue world building. I for one am converted and ready for more trips to Pandora should we be so lucky, but for the time being this one is an adventure worth venturing out to the theater for and see it on the biggest, loudest screen possible and in 3D if you can because it looks amazing.
In addition to the features film in glorious 4K, this release also includes tons of bonus content including trailers, music videos, featurettes and so much more. Return to Pandora and grab your copy of Avatar: The Way of Water available now on 4K digital.
As if this wasn't exciting enough you can also they have also brought the original home fully remastered in 4K for the first time ever available now as well from 20th Century Studios.