Well than worth the wait.
Seeing “Avatar: The Way of Water” on a Dolby 3D screen is an unbelievable experience. James Cameron assembles the right team of filmmakers and artists to allow the Na’vi to swim underwater in a new environment known as Metkayina. Still on the planet Pandora, where the air is still toxic to humans but breathable for its inhabitants, the 13-year-old sequel to Cameron’s global phenomenon “Avatar” has its reasons for running over 3 hours and costing $400 million to make. Fans need to know where the old and new characters are heading off into in the story. And if the original grossed over $2 billion worldwide, then the stakes are much higher for this sequel.
The original, if you recall, had the disabled human soldier Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) being given a Na’vi body known as an avatar, so he can deceive the inhabitants to help his human leaders make this planet a replacement for Earth. He underwent a change of heart, fell in love with the fearless warrior Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and had his soul transferred into a genuine Na’vi body. Well, almost genuine, because he still has some human features, like how many fingers we humans have and how they can still flip off villains.
“The Way of Water” shows these two starting a family with the responsible son Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), the reckless son Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), and their little girl Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss); and they also have adopted Dr. Grace’s Na’vi daughter Kiri (both played by Sigourney Weaver), who is trying to figure out who her father is, and the human Spider (Jack Champion), although he has to live in the breathable facility.
They all have to head over to Metkayina to hide from the bad guys, who still wish to colonize Pandora. Stephen Lang is back as Colonel Miles Quaritch, whom Neytiri killed in the last film. He’s back in the form of a Na’vi, because his memories have been stored in his avatar, and he’s still ruthless AF.
The leaders of Metkayina are Tonowari (Cliff Curtis) and his pregnant wife Ronal (Kate Winslet), and the latter doesn’t trust this family from a different tribe-not one bit. These people are teal and have their ways of surviving underwater when necessary. There are fish that can help them breathe and they’re really good swimmers. The rest of the film has the kids-particularly Lo’ak and Kiri-struggling to prove their worth. Lo’ak wants to earn his father’s approval, instead of being labeled reckless, while Kiri needs to find her roots.
Dalton is utterly amazing when he adapts to the green suits and his character’s transition, and Weaver does an amazingly good job at playing a teenager with the actress’ mannerisms without seeming so obvious.
Worthington is still able to portray Jake Sully, and even as a Na’vi, he still has his human characteristics and attitude, but he also expands himself as a leader and a father. Saldana still specializes in using her voice and screams as his mate. Lang never ceases to make us hate his character, especially the ways his team holds the inhabitants at gunpoint. And Winslet also does a good job at adapting the greens suits, and it’s a nice little “Titanic” reunion for her and Cameron.
The discipline towards the teens scenes get really exhausting for my tastes (sorry, it’s pet peeve of mine), but these kids are smarter than the parents anticipate. They always underestimate their kids, whether in movies or in general. With all respect. And Cameron is able to expand the world of Pandora, by assembling the right team of professionals to take their visual effects to levels we may or may not have thought to be reachable. I love looking at the trampoline-like walkways and their little huts, and especially how aqua the water looks. It would be a perfect vacation, if the air wasn’t so toxic. At least, it would be perfect for the Na’vi.
I’ve heard that if an “Avatar 5” comes into fruition, then the Na’vi can explore Earth. Let’s slow down! We still have to wait for “Avatar 3 and 4,” which they’ve been saying they’ll make for years. For now, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was well worth the wait.