‘Avatar: The Way of Water’: Did it top its predecessor?

Michael Marowelli

The newest addition to director James Cameron’s Avatar franchise, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” hit box offices with 20th Century Studios and rightfully grossed $2.024 billion with its high action and extremely entertaining sequel.

This three-hour film takes us back to the land of Pandora and reintroduces us to characters like Jake, played by Sam Worthington, and Zoe Saldaña’s character Neytiri. Viewers are brought along a journey with the family as they explore Pandora’s outside regions and battle with invading human races. 

The sequel grasps onto the original movie’s main elements but also branches off into its own unique plot, similar to the way the “Top Gun” movies evolved. New dangers and enhanced artwork are both dramatic changes that throw off some fans of the series’ predecessor.

The first couple of minutes felt shaky as it thrusted the audience back into Pandora without a gradual lead-in, making the pace forced and inauthentic. Eventually, the pacing finds a rhythm that isn’t too fast where you can’t keep up, but not too slow where you’ll be falling asleep in your chair.

The highlights from the Avatar sequel include songs like “Leaving Home” by Simon Franglen that match the film’s mystical and fantastical vibe. In addition, the movie uses an abundance of CGI (computer generated imagery) – most notably in Pandora’s lifelike water. The CGI was by far the best I have ever seen and only two scenes didn’t require it. 

The only knock I have against this movie is the beginning because it felt like it was being forced to resemble the original rather than a sequel that could branch off into its own unique movie. Despite the movie’s extensive run, “Avatar: Way of Water” is definitely worth your time and money and I would give it an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.