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Movie Review: Avatar 2 - The Way of Water (2022) *Spoiler Free*

Avatar The Way of Water Movie Poster.

To be honest I didn't think, after so many years, a second Avatar movie would have anywhere near the success of the first film. However, at the time of writing this review, Avatar 2 - The Way of Water had already made a billion dollars at the box office in just 12 days.

As much as the first film has become a little bit of a joke - mostly just for how long it has taken to get a sequel - people did enjoy that movie and Avatar 2, I feel, is a better experience. It's easily of the same quality visually but also, there's more story and characters to invest in. Not to mention the additional world building.

Avatar 2 picks up several years after the first movie. Jake Sully now has a young family on Pandora who he is forced to protect when a familiar threat returns to the extrasolar moon.

While the broad themes and plot are not that different from the first movie, within that there are interesting sub stories of family, fathers, being different, and revenge. All of which is balanced quite well over the three plus hours runtime.

You get plenty of time to marvel again at the detail of the world of Pandora, and to explore the new sea based areas that are home to the newly introduced Metkayina clan. As well you get plenty of action set pieces with all the battles with human technology. 

I must admit I'm more of a fan of all the human tech in these films because, while all the various machines are mostly pure fiction, they look just convincing enough to actually work if they all existed in real life.

Despite the lengthy run time (which I'm reluctant to see any movie over two hours in a theater these days) Avatar 2 didn't get bogged down or drag at all. While it still felt long it didn't feel like three hours.

If you've been following the internet with the time wasting noise about Avatar 2 being a 'white savior' story or how Kate Winslet's role as Ronal is somehow racist just remember, while Pandora's inhabitants may be analogues for native Americans (or other similar Earth based nation people) they are fictional. All that commentary is people projecting their ideas onto nations and cultures that don't exist.

Having said that, this particular installment is more of an angry fish savior than a white savior (you'll see what I mean). If anything Jake Sully is more a problem than a solution for the threat all these clans face.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and its thirteen different endings (joking... there were a few points where the final act could've begun winding down but then something else would happen). If you remember the first Avatar as a great movie going experience then this installment will not disappoint. You may even find yourself wanting to rewatch the first one if you didn't before going in.

It is more of the same but it does build on top of that with the more water based locations, and more complex character arcs, all of which give the movie a distinctively different and broader scope than the first.


Note: Just in case you were wondering why I've made no mention of the 3D experience, I did not see this movie in 3D. I imagine, like the first Avatar that I did see in 3D, it would look equally amazing so see it in 3D if you can. 

For me personally, I'm only impressed by 3D movies for about the first 20 minutes, then after that I'm usually so immersed in the story I barely notice the 3D effect. I did see quite a few 3D movies when they were popular and that was my experience every time. After that the glasses become something of an annoyance.

I'm sure Avatar 2 is probably a more immersive experience with 3D but the film is strong enough visually to engage on a big (or small) screen without it. 

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