It’s been more than ten years since we saw Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) survive the ultimate battle. Over time, Jake and Neytiri have grown together and now share four children. While the peace on Pandora has been enjoyable for some time, a returning threat from the sky now menaces everything again. This time, Jake and Neytiri are not just fighting for themselves but must consider their children’s protection and future. Can the Sully family survive the new battle?
I’m excited to say James Cameron has delivered another exciting instalment. Fans of the previous film will love and admire the continuation presented here. As a sequel, I was delighted when specific references were made to the prior movie, and as a new instalment, there is plenty of fun, entertainment, and excitement. For the sake of any spoilers, I have purposely kept my outline of the plot (including the characters) vague.
As a plot, this film goes in a direction that introduces new characters, monsters, concepts and an entirely new atmosphere that we’ve yet to see within the Avatar universe. While the idea of the Sully family being forced to go to war and take part in a battle might not seem new, there’s still an added freshness and interesting plot outlines that are engaging for the entire duration. It should also be noted that while the film carries a hefty runtime of three hours and twelve minutes, I found myself so engaged that I didn’t even feel the long duration. Thankfully, something was constantly occurring on-screen, with only a few scenes slightly dragging on longer than I preferred.
Visually, Avatar: The Way of Water is once again breathtaking, and viewers who see the film in 3D will gain a more fantastic experience than the standard 2D viewing. Like the first movie, the 3D viewing offers significant effects and many moments that show a great depth of field, especially during scenes involving water. That being said, while many aspects such as colours, CGI effects and creative monsters are delightful, the film does suffer slightly in regards to its refresh rate. I spotted this issue at least two or three times where motion flickers or jitters, like when a video game is still processing information. While it rarely occurs, the moments where it does are distracting. The visuals in some moments of animation reminded me of some of the more modern video games available today. This isn’t a negative, but rather that the animation felt more computer-generated than a real-life visual. Sound effects were flawless and impacting during the entire duration.
Overall, it’s been a while since movie lovers were invited back to Pandora but was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Don’t let the long runtime scare you; it’s barely noticeable. Fans of the previous film will experience so much more than the last instalment, with new characters, landscapes, mysteries, and a direction that feels slightly familiar but still carries plenty of excitement and freshness in the visuals. The 3D experience is enriching; however, upon the first watch, I found multiple times where the film suffered random jitters and lags, which were slightly distracting. Some visuals felt like a modern video game. Still, it’s a beautiful cinematic experience, and for me, this new chapter delivers an even more significant journey than the original.