When Avatar first hit cinemas 13 years ago, audiences were blown away by the cutting-edge visuals and 3D imagery. James Cameron’s 2009 epic went on to top the box office as the highest-grossing movie of all time and the first film ever to make over $2 billion. Now the first of four sequels has arrived following its London world premiere last night and critics are gushing over Avatar: The Way of Water in their first reactions.
Avatar The Way of Water is pretty incredible. I had faith James Cameron would raise the bar with the effects but these visuals are mind-blowing. One stunning frame after the next. But the thing I dug most is how the technical feats always feel in service of character & world-building.
As someone who LIKED — but didn’t LOVE — the first AVATAR, let me tell you: AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER blew me away. Vastly superior in visuals, storytelling and performances, the sequel left my jaw on the ground for the entire runtime. James Cameron is the GOD of sequels.
I saw you Avatar The Way of Water – if you think you’ve seen Avatar think again. Only repeat from the OG is that ‘never experienced anything like it’ awe. Better than 1st? Easily. The 3D water world & creatures are so surreal it is downright moving. There’s a major Titanic homage.
Unsurprisingly, Avatar The Way of Water is a visual masterpiece with rich use of 3D and breathtaking vistas. It does suffer from a thin story and too many characters to juggle, yet James Cameron pulls it together for an extraordinary final act full of emotion and thrilling action.
So, Avatar The Way of Water: Liked it, didn’t love it. The good news is that 3D is good again (yay!), and the action is pretty incredible (especially in the final act). But many of the storylines feel like they have to stop and start, and the high frame rate was hit & miss for me. This movie sure is pretty to look at though. And on the whole, I like The Way of Water more than Avatar 2009, if for nothing else because it has less in your face white saviourism than the original.
Avatar: The Way of Water is a never-ending visual spectacle. It’s a better, more complex story than the first with solid emotion but the characters could grow a bit more. It’s definitely long, running on incredible visuals & techniques which are 3D’s best.
Avatar: The Way of Water hits UK cinemas on December 16, 2022.