Avatar: The Way of Water is the sequel to 2009’s global blockbuster Avatar. More than a decade was spent on this sequel by James Cameron and his team. Though we don’t know the actual amount, James Cameron said, “It is fucking expensive,” when asked about the movie’s budget.
After losing the battle against the Navi’s, all humans are forced to return to Earth, with the exception of a few Navi’s allies. Together with a few kids, Jack Sully and Neytiri build a family. They live a nice and tranquil life until humans return to Pandora one day. Now that he is a father, he must defend his kids. This time James Cameron tries to convey the narrative from a more personal perspective. Still, the film explores larger concerns such as civilization’s struggle, biodiversity, human ignorance, and greed. Avatar: The Way of Water focuses more on the alternative to war. Is war inevitable? How is peace to be restored? Will peace last for a long time? These are the issues the film tries to address.
The world building for Pandora and its ecosystem is fantastic. The film’s detailing is insane. It takes so much involvement and dedication to achieve this. James Cameron deserves accolades for being a visionary who pushes the envelope to accomplish the impossible. In terms of scale and technology, he excelled himself. He introduced us to the undersea realm of Pandora in this film, and it’s simply amazing. You’re taken aback by the visual spectacle and your mouth drops.
Despite all of the technological excellence, the storyline falls flat. Some plots are highly cliche, while others are quite mundane. The final act dragges a lot, with so many things going on but all are soulless. This is due to the film’s narrative structure. Instead of showing the relationships, it merely narrates the journey and provides you with a tonne of information. Only one relationship works in the film: Loak and Payakan’s. Because some time is given for the build up. It’s unfortunate that all of your hard work and dedication ended up serving this half-baked story.
James Cameron has always been a visionary, and in this film he continues to push the limits of VFX and CGI. He brings several innovative technologies like MOCAP under water for the first time in the world of cinema. But the story and the screenplay laid him down. We anticipate him making a strong comeback in Avatar 3.
Avatar: The Way of Water features excellent worldbuilding and aesthetics but mediocre storytelling. Overpriced tickets and overhyped buzz will surely have a detrimental effect.