“Avatar: The Way of Water” makes box office strides

Hailey Walsh, News Writer

“Avatar: The Way of Water” was released on Dec. 16, 2022. The sequel to Avatar is 192 minutes long, and once again, directed and produced by James Cameron. I dutifully took it upon myself to review it in 3D.  

So, what makes me qualified to review the sequel to the highest-grossing movie of all time? My impartialness and the one (1) film class I took. I watched “Avatar” for the first time one week ago in preparation for the second one. This takes away the nostalgia factor that otherwise may have affected my judgment, making me the perfect impartial candidate.  

As the lights turned low and my 3D glasses moved from the top of my head to the bridge of my nose, I was thrilled as the familiar jungle scenery of Pandora filled the screen.  

The first thing that stood out to me was the CGI. The CGI created very crisp, very bright, and very blue imagery. Although the CGI was intense, it was remarkable, and I couldn’t look away. After a few minutes, the novelty wore away and I was back to watching.  

“Avatar: The Way of Water” began with a recap of what’s happened over the years in our absence. Jake Sully and Neytiri have started a family, including two sons, Neteyam and Lo’ak, and two daughters, Tuk and Kiri. Kiri is the daughter of Dr. Grace Augustine (deceased) and was adopted by Jake Sully and Neytiri.  

Conflict arises when the “sky people” return, led by an avatar version of Colonel Miles Quaritch, whose memories and consciousness were uploaded in order to exact revenge and continue the colonization of Pandora.  

Sully and his family flee to the water-dwelling Metkayina tribe. The focus switches to their children as they begin to learn a new way of living. Characters are developed and plots are thickened. Many, many new storylines are introduced and left open-ended. I believe this to be in preparation for the third, fourth and fifth Avatar continuations.  

The plethora of open-ended storylines contributed to the lack of substance in the overall plot. “Avatar: The Way of Water” was 192 minutes long, and at least 60 minutes of this was fluff. However, with all of this time, there were still pieces of the story that weren’t clearly explained. The dialogue was also rough for a couple of different reasons.  

The first issue with dialogue was the storyline of everyone in the Metkayina tribe being fluent in English. The Ta’vi knew English because Dr. Grace Augustine taught it to them. The reasoning for the Metkayina tribe’s knowledge of the English language was never explained.  

The second issue with the dialogue was the attempt, and failure, to casually include modern slang. For some reason, James Cameron insisted on the excessive use of “bro” and “cuz” throughout “Avatar 2.” “Bro” doesn’t bother me as much because one of the major themes was family, and it makes sense for the Na’vi people to see each other as family. “Cuz” irritated me because it took me out of the scene so violently. There was nowhere for the Na’vi people to encounter the word “cuz.” Who taught it to them? The sky people? No!  

My favorite part of “Avatar 2,” and the reason why I’ve recommended it to every person I’ve encountered, is the absolutely breathtaking underwater scenes. My heart stood still as the fictitious sea life swam across the theater. The colors were magnificent in every shot. The water gently caressed the plants along the bottom of the sea, adding to the rare moments of serenity.  

As of yesterday, “Avatar: The Way of Water” has grossed $2.024 billion, making it the sixth highest-grossing film of all time. Love it or hate it, it’s making strides.