“Avatar: The Way of Water”


“Avatar: The Way of Water” is the long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s “Avatar” that broke box office records in 2009. The follow up was released on Dec. 16 2022 and carried on the themes of environmentalism and family. The film stars Sam Worthington as Jake Sully and Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri.

Madeline Mill, News Reporter

The second installment of the “Avatar” series finally premiered in December of 2022. 12 years after its predecessor, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was released with a total run time of three hours and twelve minutes. Actors from the first film, such as Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver, all made a return to the new “Avatar” film. Director James Cameron also made a comeback.

The plot of “Avatar: The Way of Water” takes place sixteen years after the original film. Main characters Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have had several children while Jake has become the chief of the Omatikaya clan. This new life is jeopardized by Frances Ardmore (Edie Falco) and the RDA as they attempt to colonize Pandora, due to the fact that Earth has become uninhabitable.

With a budget of over $350 million, it is no surprise that the visual effects were astonishing. “Avatar: The Way of Water” utilizes a combination of live-action, performance capture and visual animation to create an incredibly realistic and stunning piece of media. To film the underwater scenes, “Avatar” used a system called “performance capture” which is a way to capture facial expressions in extraordinary detail. During one of these takes, Kate Winslet held her breath underwater for over seven minutes, setting a new record and beating the one held previously by Tom Cruise.

The filming of “Avatar” was actually completed on Nov. 14, 2018, but the animation and production of the film was not completed until November 2022. The time put into this film is incredibly apparent. With a remarkable cast and phenomenal visual effects, it’s no wonder this film took so many years to complete. The time it took to make this movie clearly paid off, as it received four Oscar nominations and billions of dollars in its opening weeks.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” took in $441.7 million worldwide during their opening, with a worldwide box office totally of $2.075 billion. “Avatar” beat out “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” for the highest-grossing film of 2022. It is also the fourth-highest grossing film of all time.

Critics gave a mixed response with some complaining about an overly long run-time. Others complained about issues with plot or dialogue. I was not bothered by the run time and I was fascinated by the visuals. However, I will agree that the dialogue and plot could have been improved.

I think if you liked the first “Avatar” movie, you will be just as enthralled with the second film. However, if you watch movies for suspense and intricate plots, you may not find “Avatar: The Way of Water” to be as enjoyable. I believe that the special effects alone are enough of a reason to give “Avatar: The Way of Water” a chance. After all, it did not receive four Oscar nominations for nothing.