Avatar: The Way of Water

Movie Review


Another year, another movie review. In this article, I will be rating and sharing my thoughts on the movie Avatar: The Way of Water. WARNING: some spoilers. 

If you know me, you know that I am a devoted movie lover, and Avatar is one of my favorite movies of all time. Earlier in the school year, I watched Avatar in 3D at theatres when they showed it for a limited time. I loved it. Going into Avatar 2, I was excited and a bit nervous because sequels rarely live up to the first. 

Avatar: The Way of Water was released on December 16th, 2022. The movie runs a long 3 hours and 12 minutes. The director is James Cameron and so far it has made $1.4 billion at the box office. The original Avatar made $2.9 billion at the box office, but that was also in 2009. 

Watching this movie can best be described as an experience. There is a lot to unpack from this movie and the world of Pandora. The length and the 3D make you forget that you’re watching a movie, not living in it. I applaud the visual effects and filming. The technology and CGI since the first Avatar have definitely improved. Again, I think that if there is an option to watch a movie in 3D at the theatres, one must do it. You get used to the 3D and it makes it all feel more real. 

While I enjoyed watching the movie, my rating is only 6.8 out of 10. This is my personal belief so please don’t get mad if your opinions disagree. I give it this rating for numerous amount of reasons. To start, since I have such a deep love for the first Avatar, it is hard for me to compare it. For me, the original Avatar is a 10 out of 10. Maybe if I hadn’t had such a high rating for the first then I would not have had as many expectations for the second. 

Furthermore, some of the timelines and plots did not make sense to me. Like did the humans from Earth just forget about the Unobtanium? It feels like they did not give enough reasoning as to why the focus was moving more into the water. Additionally, I felt it was odd how much they cared about killing Sully. I get that he ruined a lot, but to compromise their whole mission to find this guy seems like a waste of time. Before Colonel Quaritch came back to Pandora, humans had their own focus. How this guy managed to get all attention on finding Sully seems impossible since he is not the head of the initiative. 

Another problem I had with the movie was that it was too long. There were plenty of scenes that I felt were unnecessary and extra. The movie could have still managed to tell the story in a shorter period of time and then I would not have gotten as bored during parts. The first movie is long too, but I never felt in the first movie that there were areas that needed to be cut out. Plus the first movie was under three hours, while the second was over. 

One issue that bothers me is that the movie targets a younger crowd. Avatar 2 is definitely more appropriate for a younger audience. Scenes in the movie include a lot nicer and less intense when compared to the first one. I think that producers after the first movie were upset that Avatar only reached adults. The reason they are trying to make Avatar 2 appeal to younger folks is that they want to expand their fan base for releasing more of the series in the future. I understand the reasons behind it, but it bothers me because I like a more deep storyline. 

High praise I have for the movie is making Colonel Quaritch and his group come back as Na’vi. I thought this was a creative twist in the plot and added a lot to the storyline. I also feel that Colonel Quaritch being an Avatar now will make future movies more interesting as he may come to appreciate the ways of the Na’vi more (just food for thought tho). Anyway, I really like how they included this detail. 

Another praise I have for the movie is the storyline involving the rogue Tulkum. The Tulkum’s connection with Lo’ak warmed my heart and made me so happy. It made me feel good that Lo’ak and the rogue Tulkum had each other because they were outcasts in a sense. In general, I liked the connections that the Na’vi had with the Tulkums because it reminded me of my own connection with my pets and nature. I liked this new animal connection because it showed the beauty and intelligence of other creatures besides just humans and Na’vi. Plus, the ending scene where the Tulkum fights back is so satisfying. 

One last thought of mine is about Spider. When I saw Avatar 2 with my dad and uncles, one of my uncles mentioned he did not like Spider and thought the character was not needed. I found his opinion on that really interesting because I hadn’t fully thought about the purpose of Spider. While I liked Spider, I do agree that his character did not have to be there. I appreciated the whole concept of him and his struggle for his identity, but the only real significant action he did was save his dad, Colonel Quaritch. I think that Avatar 2 missed a huge opportunity when they did not make Spider come to life in the dead body of Neteyam. Doing that would have added so much to the plot and continued the idea of rebirth. 

Overall, I enjoyed watching Avatar 2 because I love seeing the world of Pandora and the whole experience; however, I probably would not see it again. Avatar: The Way of Water is just not a movie I love and could see over and over again. It was a very good movie, but not amazing. I’m excited about the future of the Avatar movies and can’t wait to see all that the producers have in store for us. I’m really glad that Avatar is becoming a series because there is so much potential and creativity there. This is a world that I love to watch and I am really excited about the Avatar movies in the future.