Avatar: The Way of Water Review (Spoiler Alert)

Source: Koimoi

By Kevin Yang

Thirteen years after the release of Avatar, the highest grossing movie in history ($2.9 billion), director James Cameron delivers Avatar: The Way of Water. Given the time gap between the two movies, the question of “would people still care about Pandora?” was at the forefront of producers’ minds. They soon got their answer when the movie was released, taking in $1.5 billion globally and claiming the spot of the #1 highest-grossing film of 2022. Needless to say, Avatar: The Way of Water is living up to expectations from its fanbase.

It had been noted from various sources that Cameron stated that Avatar: The Way of Water would need to bring in $2 billion just to break even, implying that although the movie is doing well, it would need to do even better to be worth it. However, in a recent interview on Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? Cameron clarified that he never stated that number directly, and the actual break-even point is lower. When questioned about future sequels, he expressed his confidence that Avatar: The Way of Water would surpass the break-even point and become profitable. In short, it put the possibility of Avatar 3, 4, and 5 in close reach.

The movie itself was fantastically produced, utilizing high frame technology to run film at 48 frames per second and bolster the 3D viewing experience. Furthermore, the breathtaking CGI and change of scenery created an immersive Pandora that viewers get to experience with wonder for the first time again.

A new story is unveiled as we are introduced to novel characters, including Jake Sully’s family. A large portion of the movie is dedicated to the perspective of the Sully children, providing us with more emotional tales and events that many younger viewers may relate to. While we may grow fond of these personas, some of their characterization is incompletely developed. For example, Kiri Sully, the daughter of the late Dr. Grace Augustine, was discovered to have unnatural powers and a connection to Eywa, the deity of the Na’vi. We can see that she struggles internally to understand why she has this connection, wondering aloud why she is “different” from the other characters. However, this character arc is not fully explored throughout the movie, leaving viewers questioning the purpose of Kiri’s abilities in the overall plot.

It is possible that this is foreshadowing for what will follow in later movies. Towards the end of the film, it is hinted, quite obviously, that larger conflict will occur in Avatar 3, as Jake admits that his family cannot keep running from threats. Avatar: The Way of Water likely serves a different role in the saga compared to its predecessor, being a lead-up to larger events in sequels, whereas Avatar was an entire story in itself.

With the current momentum and popularity for Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar 3 will be a highly anticipated movie, one that hopefully satisfies our appreciation for James Cameron’s fantastical world of Pandora.