The Way of the Wonderful

Avatar 2 is a worthy sequel and should be watched.


Photo by Kaiya Lynch

  Avatar was nothing short of a masterful showcase of filmmaking advancements and technology, but it was also the highest grossing movie of all time (Although it needed a 2022 rerelease to put it back into first place). With the sequel releasing in Dec of 2022, there was no shortage of anticipation. Could it live up to the original in scope and success, or would it just be another movie sequel and eventually forgotten? 

   I’m happy to say Avatar: The Way of Water is actually a big improvement from the original, however, they both share some of the same issues. 

   First, let’s talk about what is good about this movie. Obviously, it is still the Mount Everest of CGI filmmaking with the new oceanic setting, acting as the perfect canvas for James Cameron’s familiar but unknown world of Pandora. The film looks great and should set a new benchmark for future endeavors in CGI centric movies. My favorite scene in the movie in terms of the film’s visuals has to be the long, sweeping shots of ocean reefs teeming with colors and crazy alien animals when we are first introduced to the new setting.  

   The film does happen to fall a little bit short in the plot department, feeling cliche at times and some characters feel very surface level or are merely pushed into the background as a result of the overarching storyline and the new characters. The runtime is overly long at a whopping three hours and 12 minutes thanks to too many beautiful, eye-pleasing shots which don’t actually contribute to the story and only add to the movie’s length. 

   With such a long runtime, I was slightly concerned that some characters might get the short end of the stick but new and returning characters fit perfectly into the story Cameron tries to tell, while the villain completely steals the show. Military man Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) is brought back from the dead as an avatar and has the best performance out of the cast, showcasing the action hero-type personality from the first film which makes any kind of action scene great while showing depths within the character that the movie subtly hints at but doesn’t fully flesh out. 

   All of the other performances are decent to pretty good, with the movie’s leads, Sam Worthington as Jake Sully and Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri, giving good performances as they struggle to balance being parents and trying to defeat the threat of the returning humans. However, they sometimes fall flat and are pushed to the side in order for their kids to experience character development.

   I would absolutely recommend this movie to everyone as it is nothing short of a true spectacle. The box office success it has seen should speak for itself as it has grossed 1.75 billion dollars worldwide. Avatar: The Way of Water is currently in theaters everywhere so go watch it if you haven’t already.