Avatar: The Way of Water [Grade: 86.67%]

Director: James Cameron

Story By: James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman, & Shane Salerno

Cast: Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Britain Dalton, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Jamie Flatters, Bailey Bass, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, & Jack Champion 

* * *

Beautiful just like the original one, and well thought out, but can’t replace the original. 

* * *

Theme & Story: A-

Pacing: A

Character: A

Overall “Paper” Score: A

* * *

Entertainment Factors

General Public: Interesting Enough

Avatar Fans: Worth the $$$

Sci-Fi Action Fans: Don’t Rush

Experience Seekers (Action & Visuals): Interesting Enough

Overall “Viewing Experience” Score: Interesting Enough

* * *

TAKEAWAYS:

1. The Sky People are on the hunt for Jake—who has fled Pandora with his family— due to his efforts to keep them from invading Pandora as their new home now that Earth is deteriorating, and as an act of revenge for treason. This is Avatar: The Way of Water.

Thematically, the second installment tackles quite a few theme starters like family, protection, and connection; however, one message that seemed to stand out most for me looked at the power and influence different types of connections can have on our survival and sense/acts of purpose. Overall, this messaging was pretty effective from beginning to end. 👍🏾👍🏾

The strength of the film for me, for different reasons, were Acts Two and Three. I do think all Acts were intentionally written, but the last 2 Acts seemed to provide the appropriate sequel focus and engaging action. 👍🏾👍🏾

The push area I’d give to the film, which is honestly small and not a huge deal, is Act One’s story decision to get us to Metkayina. It seemed too quick and easy/lazy to get us from point A to B… I also feel a little torn with  Spider’s story in Acts Two and Three… 🤷🏾‍♂️

2. My goodness! The water visual effects and cinematography… like my goodness.😩❤️🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

3. Lissen… Neytiri wasn’t playing around in Act Three! I love when she does her thing. 🙌🏾

4. Chile, not she said “I can’t believe I’m tied up again” 🤣

5. This film has a runtime of 180 minutes, and it’s mostly a really beautiful and character building 180 minutes. 👍🏾

What I appreciate most is the pacing of Act Two which gives the theme space to truly develop through the characters. 👏🏾👏🏾

Where I feel the pacing moved a little fast is with Spider’s story in Acts Two and Three. It was too obviously meant to aid in support for the next installment, and it left wondering about what he’s learned from the Na’vis about their past…🤷🏾‍♂️

6. That was not the death that should’ve happened. 🤦🏾‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️

7. YES Payakan! 🙌🏾

8. Awwwwww the cub! 😢

9. To piggyback off point #7, I was so happy when Payakan wore his ass out on that boat. 😂😂

10. The daughter, Tuk, was adorable. She had these small moments that were really cute and hilarious. 👍🏾

Outside of her, I wasn’t really drawn to any particular character. They all “understood their individual assignments,” but the story didn’t really give me anything to attach to. And to be honest, there was a death that should’ve taken place for another character which would’ve impacted my connection. 🤷🏾‍♂️

In terms of thematic followthrough, every character in my eyes were well written with the theme in mind. Jake was all about the family connection in order to stay strong and focused. 👍🏾

The children were an extension of Jake, collectively also embodying how family connection gave them confidence and strength in any situation. 👍🏾

Kiri’s connection was with the spirit of their species which aided her strength and support to her family and others. 👍🏾

Lo’ak, in addition to the family connection, also found power and visibility through the connections with nature. 👍🏾

Neytiri’s connection that strengthened her was with her children, which truly manifests itself in Act Three. 👍🏾

Quatrich was also a character who was also interestingly impacted by his connections to specific characters. 👍🏾

And the people of Metkayina were all about connections with nature, specifically those of the water, to give them strength and purpose. 👍🏾

* * *

Overall #AvatarTheWayOfWater gives Avatar – meets Moana – meets Sea Beast – meets The Jungle Book – meets the Talokanils of Wakanda Forever 

It’s definitely beautiful… like GORGEOUS! And luckily, at least for me, it seems like the film took a formula from the first film and plopped it in a new environmental context, so the story execution was pretty effective #IfItAintBroke…

I will say that because of following a similar formula, there is a “safeness” to this story, BUT I think it intentionally sets up something that could really amazing for the third installment. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s