On June 7, Disney+ Hotstar launched James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, and here’s why OTT screens might not be able to do it justice.
The finest way to see Avatar 2: Way of the Water was on an IMAX screen.
The long-awaited sequel to the 2009 film continues Pandora’s stunning narrative, reconnecting fans with Jake Sully and Neytiri as they preserve their young family and eternal customs.
In Avatar: The Way Of Water, James Cameron shifts his focus from the magnificent panoramas of Pandora’s forests to her waters. In the 2009 original picture, former marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) discarded his human form to become one with the Na’vi and join his mate, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), in the quest to save the country and its people. They’ve settled down and established a family, but as they say, tranquility never lasts long. The Sullys’ world is once again endangered, and Jake must gather to protect his family after all this time.
James hurls us back into Pandora at breakneck speed, reintroducing us to the planet and the years that have passed. Few friends have stayed, old rivals have returned, and a new generation is taking form. Jake and Neytiri’s children are full of enthusiasm and determination as they go on new adventures, this time beneath the water. The Metkayina, commanded by chieftain Tonowari (Cliff Curtis) and his wife Ronal (Kate Winslet), are introduced in The Way of Water.
Moving away from the floating mountains and deep woodlands, the Metkayina way of life is serene and provides a secure haven for the Sully family. One fresh, youthful figure reminds the’refugees’ that ‘the course of the river has no beginning or finish’. This is the lesson they must learn as the events of the film unfold, much as Jake learnt about the interconnectedness of all living things in the first film. If you haven’t watched the previous film, the introduction of old and new characters can be a little overwhelming, especially as the plot builds to a great climactic, unavoidable collision.
The underwater moments in The Way Of Water are incredibly magnificent, and the surprise on the faces of the Sully family as they experience this new paradise matches our own. The moving passages are enhanced by James Horner’s soundtrack.
After about halfway through, the film begins to say what it wants to convey. Jake has no option but to confront the impending conflict, even though his children’s survival is at danger. Old dangers from the Sky people resurface as they continue to pillage Pandora’s natural resources. It was the mineral unobtanium in the first film, and now it is another elixir for the human species. (Also see: Avatar The Way of Water initial responses acclaim James Cameron picture as’masterpiece,’ reviewers believe it’s better than Part 1)
This time around, the motion capture performances and other animation are more smoother and more lifelike. Sam and Zoe keep the picture grounded with their continuing passion, while their younger son Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), another intriguing new character, chafes under the pressures placed on him. Sigourney Weaver reprises her role as Jake and Neytiri’s adoptive daughter Kiri, who is riddled with fresh secrets. With her link to the realm of ‘aliens’ and Na’vi, there is so much more to discover. However, that might be for a future film in the franchise.
The computer-generated surroundings appear incredibly genuine, due to the tremendous technological advances that have happened in the 13 years since the film’s first release in 2009. The 3D also has more detail weaved in, both above and underneath, and does not seem overbearing. It is only available on the large screen. The Way of Water’s denouement is vast, chaotic, and dramatic, with multiple echoes of James’ own Titanic (1997) and its warm, passionate finish. However, the highly-touted running duration of 192 minutes isn’t much of a concern here. The action keeps you glued to the screen, and the screenplay by James, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver conjures up possibilities that might propel the franchise forward.
Much has been said in recent years about the creeping loss of the theatrical experience. Avatar: The Way Of Water is a breathtaking spectacle staged by a dedicated filmmaker who understands how to blend action and emotion for an entertaining evening at the cinema. Don’t pass it up.