Avatar: The Way of Water Review


Henry Abercrombie, Staff Writer

My family and I watched Avatar: The Way of Water during our Christmas break. Of course, before that happened, we had to watch the original one. During August, we all sat down to watch Avatar, and it definitely stood up to the rave reviews that I had heard about it. For a movie that premiered in 2009, in 2022, I was really quite impressed with the visual effects—they absolutely stood the test of time, and were comparable to many modern movies. However, the visual effects for Avatar: The Way of Water absolutely blew me away—my first impression of the movie was that it is leagues above in terms of CGI and other special effects. The forests, the coral reefs, and the native animals—all of them are notable for their vivacity and realism.

The movie starts off about 16 years after the end of the first one. By now, Jake Sully and Neytiri have formed a family, with two sons and one daughter. Their happy family life is interrupted once again by the military of Earth—the planet is still dying, and they still need a planet to conquer. Rather than being fearless freedom fighters, Jake and Neytiri now have a family to protect—the movie deals with the inner struggle between protecting your people, and protecting your family. Although Jake first decides to hide his family within the peaceable aquatic tribe, the war follows him, and they eventually have no other choice but to fight. The original antagonist of the first movie returns as well, revived within the body of an Avatar.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. The clash between preserving their family and fighting a war waged on their entire species becomes really poignant throughout the movie, with some stunningly emotional scenes delivered by the actors. In terms of surprises and twists, the movie was a bit lackluster—you can mostly tell what is going to happen next. Alternatively, one could take this as proof of the fact that they performed the foreshadowing well. It was absolutely a well-written and well-acted movie, and the cinematography was unparalleled.

I give it 10 arrow-impaled soldiers, and 9 flasks of amrita. The main negative point is that they did not utilize Jemaine Clement to his fullest potential—if they had, the movie would have earned a Tamatoa as well. If you can go and see it in theaters, you should.