Movie Review: Avatar: The way of Water

Review by: Megan Lee

Directed by: James Cameron

Rating: 4/5 

The world that James Cameron creates in Avatar: The Way of Water truly sets that standard for transporting the audience into a new reality. Avatar: The Way of Water is the long-awaited sequel to the original Avatar released in 2009. Created by James Cameron, Avatar is a movie filled with beauty that definitely transferred into the newest movie. 

Released nearly thirteen years after the original, Avatar: The Way of Water has been almost five years in the making. The plot follows Jake and Neytiri Sully along with their four kids Neteyam, Lo’ak, Kiri and Tuk. With new and returning cast members the movie has a completely different feel from the first. When humans return to Pandora, the Sullys are forced into hiding because of their father’s past. This leads them to a new home with the Metkayina clan among the Reef people. 

Overall the existing storyline of the first Avatar is successfully carried over into the next movie; however, we see a different side of the main character Jake Sully. In the first film, Jake is a humble, kind human who ultimately decides he doesn’t want to be human anymore. In the second film he is cold and closed off, especially toward his kids. Sully expressed on multiple occasions that all he wants to do is protect his family, but protecting them inevitably damaged their relationship. 

Unlike the first movie, Avatar: The Way of Water focuses on the ideals of family and trust. Kiri is the adopted daughter of the Sully family and is the biological daughter of Grace Augustine, who lost her life in the first movie. We see her face hardships while grieving her mother, aswell as striving to fit into her adoptive family. While Kiri’s storyline is heartfelt, it lacks development. There are still many questions about her and her gifts that go unanswered.

Overall the end of the film was rather anti-climatic. Fans had just watched two and a half hours of a beautiful story, only to be met with plot holes and an ending full of despair. Although James Cameron has confirmed three more movies following Avatar: The Way of Water, it was easy to feel unrest in the ending scenes of the movie. 

Compared to the first, Avatar: The Way of Water offers all new perspectives of life on Pandora while it exceeded the heavy expectations set by fans.