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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

Now just hang on a minute. Did they just pose for a family picture? In the midst of the setup, where Cameron is dragging us once more through the chronicling of Sully's time with the Na'vi, including mostly child-rearing and learning the language so well, he starts to hear it in English (bah, subtitles, there are too many other lovely things to look at), they do actually stop all running and jumping and fishing and flying and hunting to stop for a quick snap, fake shuttering included. Ok, I thought, well now that's my evening ruined...

As one of the original flag-waving devout, banging on about Avatar at least five to six years before its eventual arrival, up to the opening night premiere at the IMAX, I was as close to being a kid again as any cinematic event had made me feel. And what an event it was.

And so to 2022 and what do we have now? Now that the awe and wonder of the original creation, the countless innovations and technical and creative achievement is gone, what are we left with other than more of, well, just the same?

Well, visually, it is more impressive as you would expect with the passing of time, but not in the leaps and bounds that the original made my jaw drop. It is often exquisite to lay your eyes on, but I would expect this as a pre-requisite, really. Sully's charming Jarhead has gone entirely now and he is a father of many and leader of the resistance against the onslaught of a potential colonisation. They are up against a mighty aggressive adversary in the fight for survival. Not so different then? Well, the clue is in the title. And if you ask the the actors and Cameron himself, it becomes quite clear what they would like you to focus on. The water. And it only takes about an hour to get to it.

And here lies the real bugbear. At 2 hours 45 minutes, the original Avatar was bearable because of the discovery element and an intriguing plot initially of subterfuge, wonderment followed by adventure, love and eventually, dawning realisation regarding society and humanity's impact upon it. There is really little more here and in some cases less, but with an extra half an hour bolted on for good measure. Often, I was bored. There, I said it.

I understand that Cameron has a massive hard-on for this outstanding cinematic experience he has created through an admirable labour of love, so much so that he wants us all to feel that same awe, but as mentioned, that ship has mostly sailed, no matter how pretty the water physics are.

PS - where can you buy Na'vi sized sunglasses or are they just extra 3D ones from the last movie and would a Na'vi ever use the word 'perv'?


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