James Cameron takes us back to Pandora, and this time, it is spectacularly grand. Avatar: The Way Of Water, or as the film is commonly referred to as Avatar 2, was released on 16 December and has garnered a lot of buzz on social media. With critics and celebrities pouring in their reviews, take a look at what it showcases.
After introducing audiences to the planet of Pandora in the 2009 movie, where blue pointy-eared and tailed Na’vi people reside amid nature, the director has now taken a deep dive into its marine world. Jake Sully and Neytiri are now a happily married couple, living with their three children, but their peace is short-lived as the ‘Sky People’ start yet another war.
Thirteen years after the original was released, Cameron has reunited with the cast and crew, along with some new names. Taking the plot forward, he has built an enriching, diverse and nuanced world in Avatar: The Way of Water.
Here is what critics and the Twitterati have to say about Avatar 2
About Avatar: The Way of Water
Taking a deep dive into the unchartered waters of Pandora, Cameron creates a visual spectacle which evokes a Mariana Trench-like wonder. From giant whales to jellyfish and stingray-like creatures, the thriving marine world is a living ecosystem, comprising unusual yet beautiful habitats, which become the home to the Na’vi clan.
Avatar 2 takes the audience under the crashing waves and introduces another clan called Metkayina, led by leaders Tonowari and Ronal. They are a group of amphibious reef dwellers who give refuge to Jake and his family.
The Sullys now have a son named Lo’ak who feels responsibe for the safety of their clan, while the horrors of another war by the ‘Sky People’ hang low. However, Lo’ak must learn about the way of life underwater and imbibe all the intricacies and norms, just as his father did when he came to Pandora and connected with all living things in the first film.
The couple’s adopted daughter Kiri also brings in some unknown mysteries when it comes to her relations with the ‘aliens’ and the Na’vi people.
As humans continue to loot Pandora for another life elixir, Jake, Neytiri and the others have to put up a tough fight to survive and keep their planet safe.
Watch the official trailer here:
Cast and crew
Joining Cameron for more adventures in Pandora in Avatar 2, are some familiar names from the 2009 film and several new faces.
Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña reprise their roles as ex-marine Jake Sully and native Na’vi woman Neytiri, respectively. While Cliff Curtis essays Tonowari, Kate Winslet portrays Ronal. This is the first time Winslet unites with Cameron after the blockbuster hit Titanic (1997).
Britain Dalton plays the role of Lo’ak, while Sigourney Weaver plays Kiri, Stephen Lang returns as Quaritch and Jemaine Clement as Dr Garvin.
Cameron, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver penned the screenplay of this action-packed sci-fi movie. And, while Richard Baneham serves as the executive producer, Avatar 2 is produced by the director himself and Jon Landau. Composer Simon Franglen joins Cameron’s team to take James Horner’s (1953–2015) work forward. The score keeps emotions heightened throughout the three-hours-and-ten-minutes-long movie.
Critics and Twitterati react to Avatar: The Way of Water
The first Twitter reactions, after the special premiere of Avatar 2 in early December 2022, hailed Cameron for the astounding visual effects, cinematography and heart-thumping war sequences. While some critics found the runtime to be too lengthy and the storyline to be flat, the Avatar sequel has mostly been lauded and raked positive reviews.
Justin Chang of LA Times says, “Cameron wants to submerge you in another time and place, to seduce you into a state of pure, unforced astonishment. And he does, after some visual adjustment; the use of high frame rate (a sped-up 48 frames per second) tends to work better underwater than on dry land, where the overly frictionless, motion-smoothed look might put you briefly in mind of a Na’vi soap opera (“The Blue and the Beautiful,” surely).”
Independent film critic Amanda Salas called it a “cinematic masterpiece.”
Feliz NA’VIdad indeed! #AvatarTheWayOfWater is a cinematic masterpiece! I enjoyed it even more than the first one! It conquers stunning visuals on-screen & taps into the heart reminding us of what truly matters in life. Family, home, nature & survival. My top film of the year!
— Amanda Salas (@AmandaSalas) December 6, 2022
Just watched Avatar 2. Nobody and I mean NOBODY knows how to make a sequel better than James Cameron.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Avatar: The Way of Water
He’s done it again!
Can’t wait to watch it in IMAX on Sunday. This movie is spectacular. A visual masterpiece! pic.twitter.com/TCA66jqmOd
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) December 16, 2022
As someone who loved Avatar in 2009 and had great fun revisiting it with my kids this year, it pains me to say The Way of Water is horrendous. REVIEW: https://t.co/26ISpdhfno
— Robbie Collin (not parody) (@robbiereviews) December 13, 2022
“James Cameron not only loves Pandora so much, he loves its people and its humble, grateful inhabitants. He’s showing us that it’s beautiful and awe-inspiring and romantic… and it must be protected at all costs.”
— kevin l. lee (@Klee_FilmReview) December 14, 2022
Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro also took to Twitter to share his views about the 2022 film.
I say it again: Avatar 2 – seeing it you realize how long it has been since you saw a MOVIE-MOVIE (like that, in caps).
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) December 7, 2022
Twitterati gives a big green signal to Avatar 2.
Happy to say #AvatarTheWayOfWater is phenomenal! Bigger, better & more emotional than #Avatar, the film is visually breathtaking, visceral & incredibly engrossing. The story, the spectacle, the spirituality, the beauty – this is moviemaking & storytelling at its absolute finest. pic.twitter.com/RicnpDghrx
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) December 6, 2022
Avatar: The Way of Water left me breathless. Visually stunning, emotionally overwhelming, with some of the most impressive sustained action scenes I’ve ever seen. The performances are incredible too, especially by all the kids. Wow. James Cameron truly doesn’t miss. #Avatar pic.twitter.com/GdwSnZYPYz
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) December 7, 2022
Some real thoughts on #AvatarTheWayOfWater: Yeah, incredible. It’s a James Cameron limit break where even intimate feelings slam with seismic force. Jaw-dropping design make a mostly CG world and cast (miraculously emotive) feel impossibly alive. Even the water’s hypnotizing. pic.twitter.com/E6JyLEa1gM
— Eric Francisco (@EricFrancisco24) December 7, 2022
So, #AvatarTheWayOfWater is one of the most visually stunning films I have seen. Incredible on an almost obscene level. Crucially, it also manages an engaging story with new & returning characters. Yes, it is long at 3+ hours, but James Cameron’s only gone and bloody delivered… pic.twitter.com/oBjoWwiGaF
— Tori Brazier (@dinotaur) December 7, 2022
Avatar: The Way of Water in 3D HFR is unlike anything you’ve ever seen in theaters before (including the previous movie, which this makes seem like a glorified proof-of-concept reel), and it feels like Cameron is still just getting warmed up.
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) December 13, 2022
As someone who LIKED — but didn’t LOVE — the first AVATAR, let me tell you:
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER blew me away.
Vastly superior in visuals, story telling and performances, the sequel left my jaw on the ground for the entire runtime.
James Cameron is the GOD of sequels. pic.twitter.com/1cw6C94O4f
— Jake Hamilton (@JakesTakes) December 6, 2022
Just saw #AvatarTheWayOfWater in 3D VFR (variable frame rate). Projected at 60fps, Cameron is actually moving between 60,48,30 and 24fps shot by shot, sometimes even during the same shot with foreground elements in different fps to background. Underwater work particularly superb. pic.twitter.com/xxRprwfXuB
— Eben Bolter BSC (@ebenbolter) December 7, 2022
I saw AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER last night, and the thing James Cameron understands innately — the thing he can convey with more skill, guts and imagination than just about every filmmaker working today — is that glowing things are so, so rad
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) December 7, 2022
My only criticism of Avatar 2 is that it’s a little derivative. pic.twitter.com/a65ZnmxmgM
— Dan Ilic (@danilic) December 15, 2022
(Main image: Courtesy Avatar: The Way of Water/ Photo by Courtesy of 20th Century Studios/Courtesy of 20th Century Studio – © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved./ IMDb; feature image Courtesy: Avatar: The Way of Water/ IMDb)