Avatar the Way of Water



Released December 16, 2022, and directed mainly by James Cameron, (with the help of Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman, and Shane Salerno) Avatar the Way of Water shocked, amazed, and eventually disappointed viewers expecting something just as good as the original film Avatar (released in 2009). 

The ground-breaking original Avatar exceeded its time with the CGI and animation effects, not to mention the expert storytelling and emotional investment invoked in its viewers. As well as the completely original storyline idea and character development that had the world in wonder of what could be. Put simply, Avatar was a cinematic masterpiece, and its legacy fell short due to the negligence of effort put towards a story, and instead focused on what the directors perceived would look the best at a surface level. 

 In the beginning of Avatar the Way of Water the scene is quickly set up to explain that humans have come back to the planet Pandora where the Na’vi (a native species of blue people with culture and intelligence) fight to defend their land and people from being killed. The audience is reintroduced to Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) a human who transferred into his avatar body permanently during the last movie, and his partner and mate Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) as they live out their lives together and start a family in the mists of the violence in their world. They have three kids, the two sons being Neteyam (Jamie Flatters) and Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), and a daughter named Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li). In addition there is a human kid called Spider (Jack Champion) who lives in the old lab with other humans who are friends with the Na’vi. Spider is friends with Jake’s kids and hangs out with the family all of the time, in a way becoming one of them. 

Soon into the movie the antagonist Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) from Avatar comes back to Pandora in seek of revenge on Jake Sully who killed his human body and forced him to transfer to an avatar body. Jake decided that his home, and his family aren’t safe anymore, so he takes his family across the seas to ask a friend for safe passage and hospitality. Eventually after some arguments they are granted passage to live with the water tribe and learn their ways of life. While the kids learn about the mysteries of the ocean, and how to hold their breath, Jake leans how to ride a warriors mount. 

This movie may have visual effects, but that didn’t make up for the lack of story produced. Comparatively, the action was sucked dry and dull considering the first movie, and the focus dropped off of Jake and fell onto his kids. The new characters weren’t strong enough or likable for one to be completely invested, and the development lacked an emotional attachment  that many felt during the original Avatar.  The directors lost sight of how beautiful and magical the story was, and became obsessive about the movie being a ‘big hit’ and the true intentions are crystal clear. Avatar the Way of Water was granted a $460 million budget making it the most expensive Hollywood movie by a good distance, but even money couldn’t make up for the disappointment in the audience when their favorite attributes in the main characters were replaced, and screen time was taken up by children playing in the water. For the reputation of the Avatar movie, it would’ve been better if Avatar the Way of Water was never released in the first place.