Avatar – The Way Of Water Review: It Was Worth The 13-Year Wait
— Updated on 15 January 2023

Avatar – The Way Of Water Review: It Was Worth The 13-Year Wait

— Updated on 15 January 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

BH’s Official Spoiler-Free Avatar: The Way Of Water Review

If there’s one person you should never bet against, it’s James Cameron.

In case there’s still any confusion surrounding the stance of this particular Avatar: The Way of Water review, the director behind Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, True Lies, Titanic, and of course, the first Avatar has yet another winner on his hands (surprise/shock/horror). Although you wouldn’t know it based on the self-aggrandising critiques of certain individuals who’ve made careers commenting on the direction of the wind while never personally risking anything themselves.

RELATED: ‘Avatar 2’ Is So Expensive, It Must Become One Of History’s Highest-Grossing Film Just To Break Even

Let’s make something perfectly clear: watching an Avatar instalment to pick apart the writing is like firing up Pornhub to complain about the disturbing lack of romance. What did you expect?

This is visual entertainment in its highest form; this is a project of unprecedented proportions we should be collectively rallying around because of its ambitious mission statement to revive the cinema-going experience alongside the likes of Top Gun: Maverick (the latter of which didn’t exactly feature the most cerebral of screenwriting either). Save the narrative philosophy debates for the Joseph Campbell convention and sneer elsewhere, you insufferable dorks.

Avatar - The Way Of Water Review: It Was Worth The 13-Year Wait

A Visual Feast

Like countless of you undoubtedly will, I plonked myself in front of the biggest screen available with very little interest in finding out what happens in the next chapter of the Sully family saga. Like Titanic-submersible-at-the-ocean-floor low in terms of interest levels (this much I will admit). Still, the reputation of a Hollywood icon such as James Cameron himself was compelling enough to hook me in. As was the curiosity which had been steadily building over the past decade-plus.

Within the opening minutes, any reservations I had about the marathon 192-minute runtime ahead, and any notion of getting up for a bathroom break, went out the proverbial window. The entire theatre had instantly been transported back to Pandora in all its breathtaking 3D-augmented glory. Only better. Far better. The payoff for every delay, every single cent sunken into that ridiculous $400 million production budget, was practically splashed across the screen.

RELATED: ‘Avatar 2’ On Track To Make $765 Million In First Weekend Alone

The Story Itself

The storyline picks up over a decade after the events of the original. In the years since, human turned Na’vi Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) has risen to the rank of Clan Chief and raised a family with Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña): eldest son Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), second son Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), youngest child Tuktirey/”Tuk” (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss), as well as adopted teenage daughter Kiri (Sigourney Weaver).

When the RDA returns with intentions to “pacify the natives” and colonise the alien planet to ensure the survival of the human race – Earth is apparently dying, as per the well-worn sci-fi trope – they bring in a resurrected Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who has been reborn with the body of a Na’vi to level the playing field.

His objective? Take out Jake Sully, who has been making good use of the experience he accrued in his past life as a US Marine to lead an extremely successful rebellion against the off-world invaders. And as you’d expect, this undertaking isn’t carried out without a measure of prejudice given the fate that Colonel Quaritch 1.0 met in the first film. Everything’s a little tastier with a side of revenge, especially when said revenge involves hunting loved ones.

RELATED: ‘Avatar 2’ Is Already Being Called A “Masterpiece” & “Better Than The Original”

Avatar - The Way Of Water Review: It Was Worth The 13-Year Wait

With their safety now at risk, Jake Sully plucks his family from their forest home in search of a safe haven with the Metkayina reef clan – something that proves to be rich exploratory ground for the visual splendour of a previously unseen biome, as well as establishing the foundations of the intrafamilial dynamic that’ll supposedly carry the remainder of the Avatar franchise a la The Godfather trilogy.

Yes. There will invariably be all-too-convenient elements within the screenplay that some of you will take issue with, feckless lines of dialogue bound to elicit an eye roll or two, and at times, clumsy attempts at manufactured spirituality that’s so damn overly sentimental it borders on the nauseating. Taking a step back to appreciate the stunningly-rendered nine-figure picture, however, is a quick and effective remedy to the otherwise average story rehash. Don’t think too much about it.

RELATED: James Cameron In Discussion To Reboot ‘Terminator’ Franchise

A Quick Chat With Sam Worthington & Cliff Curtis

“Any movie you just hope to get seen… I’ve done lots of movies that haven’t even come out, that people don’t notice. So with this one, it’s a very hard thing. You’re handing it over to an audience hoping they embrace it, hoping they see it as exciting as when you were making it,” Sam Worthington told BH exclusively.

“I’ve never been this excited actually. My excitement is as excited as it can be. I’m peaking right now,” said Cliff Curtis, who portrays Metkayina Clan Chief Tonowari, during the same interview.

“It’s been great working with Sam and seeing him evolve this character, you know, from this reluctant hero in the first one to now. He’s all about his family. Initially, he hasn’t really got much that he holds dear, nothing’s really precious to him, and now he’s a guy who’ll do anything for his family. I think that’s great storytelling. And I think for masculinity, it’s a good anchor. It’s a good place for us to start.”

Avatar - The Way Of Water Review: It Was Worth The 13-Year Wait

RELATED: Matt Damon Reveals He Turned Down 10% Of The Profits From ‘Avatar’

Worthington added: “[Director James Cameron] was about right comparing it to The Godfather series, he would say that to us because it’s about family. That’s what it’s about… The Sullys go on this journey where their lives are threatened by an outside force, and they’re forced to connect to other clans, to hold on to each other no matter how intense the stakes get.”

“I like difficult. I’m attracted by difficult. Difficult is a fucking magnet for me. I go straight to difficult,” James Cameron said elsewhere.

“And I think it probably goes back to this idea that there are lots of smart, really gifted, really talented filmmakers out there that just can’t do the difficult stuff. So that gives me a tactical edge to do something nobody else has ever seen, because the really gifted people don’t fucking want to do it.”

Avatar: The Way Of Water First Reactions Call It A "Masterpiece"

So… What Now?

Assuming Avatar: The Way of Water breaks even at the box office by becoming the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history, and the rest of the franchise’s production timeline plays out as intended, here’s when we can expect the next three films (titles subject to change):

  • Avatar 3: The Seed Bearer – December 20th of 2024
  • Avatar 4: The Tulkun Rider – December 18th of 2026
  • Avatar 5: The Quest for Eywa – December 22nd of 2028

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, and Kate Winslet is now screening in select cinemas with the wider release date scheduled for December 12, 2022 – check out the trailer below.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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