Wednesday, December 14, 2022


avatar the way of water review

Thank you to 20th Century Studios for inviting my son and I to be their guests at an advance screening of AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. We had the chance to see the movie at our local AMC Theatre on an IMAX screen in 3D before the film's official theatrical opening weekend this Friday on December 16th. Viewing AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER in 3D on an IMAX screen truly makes an audience feel as if they have been transported to the far away moon of Pandora and are witnessing events taking place there right in front of them. Being able to drive fifteen minutes to get to Pandora rather than the six years it takes humans to fly through space from Earth to get there in the movie is so much more convenient!

The original AVATAR movie ushered in the popularity of 3D movies at theaters; but this genre has been mostly phased out in recent years based upon Hollywood studios looking to cut costs based upon pandemic-based financial losses and moviegoers becoming weary of the fad and the higher ticket prices and glasses that come along with seeing a film in 3D. Seeing AVATER: THE WAY OF WATER in 3D is a must though because it provides a sense of place which extends the film off the screen and around you to compliment the film's spectacular special effects and cinematography. Combining the enhanced details of an IMAX theater with the 3D provides a fantastic viewing experience! 

Viewing movie trailers for AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER on my 4K television at home after having seen the film in 3D on an IMAX screen have to say the two do not compare. If you want to have a blockbuster movie experience, see AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER in IMAX 3D. Don't forego the 3D and don't wait for it to be released on streaming or home video. This is a movie meant to be seen in a theater and on an IMAX screen is even better!

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER is more than a science fiction movie; it is like a doctoral thesis for cinematography. James Cameron focus isn't on telling a story but rather pushing the envelope in presenting the highest quality special effects and visual imagery to provide audiences with a cutting-edge presentation to take in. Water is never easy to film around and it is a centric element of the movie seamlessly meshed with cgi to a stunning effect. Sit back and become immersed within the environment of Pandora. Enjoy the ride...or swim!

avatar way of water

While the movie is focused on world building by exploring new areas and cultures of Pandora as well as the Na'vi family created by the bonding of Jake Sully's avatar persona and the native Neytiri. Despite The Way of Water being a sequel to 2009's AVATAR it is a refreshing story because its characters haven't been saturated in media and pop culture like other Disney properties such as Marvel and Star Wars. Instead of becoming weary over an exhausting amount of content, AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER is like visiting a place you have a familiarity with and have been longing to one day go back to explore some more. This movie satisfies that wanderlust. 

An addition to exploring an exotic location filled with amazing environments and fantastic creatures, this sci-fi scenario also provides a mirror of real-life for viewers to reflect on. Humanity has returned to Pandora in AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER and this time due to pollution and overpopulation on Earth instead of just mining the Na'vis' home the people from Earth are intent on colonizing the place. The new visitors do more harm to Pandora in a year than the original miners did in a decade. These invaders know Jake Sully led the original uprising in AVATAR and is an obstacle to their domination. They also know he has a family now which is his and the Na'vi resistance's greatest weakness.

avatar way of water

In this movie, WE are the villains. And these villains act very similar to how humans have behaved throughout history and still conduct ourselves in present day society. Racism, militarism, greed, and environmental destruction are all major themes of the story. In one tear jerking scene where human hunters are relentlessly harvesting animals to extract a valuable chemical discovered within the creature's brains as the audience around me became emotional, I wondered how many people realized this fictional situation was a portrayal of past and present-day human activities actually impacting our planet. If you are rooting for the Na'vi, when you leave the movie theater take into consideration the similarities with their plight and major issues impacting our planet today. If viewers put some thought into the threats and perils presented in AVATER: THE WAY OF THE WATER, it can really be an eye-opening experience.

Beyond the wonderful imagery and philosophical ponderations of the film, AVATAR: THE WAY OF THE WATER is full of pulse-pounding action scenes. Those looking for an action movie won't be disappointed. There are plenty of electric moments and explosions to overshadow the dramatic moments in this movie. In fact, some of the efforts to remind people of what occurred in the original AVATAR movie and add some emotional depth to the movie drag on a bit too much with action scenes adding energy to and upping the pace of the movie. The movie could probably have been a half hour shorter without impacting it too much.

Both my son and I thoroughly enjoyed AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER and walked out of the movie theater glad we had seen it. We were both wowed by the film's imagery and appreciated that James Cameron had taken the cinematography of the franchise to a better than we expected level of awesomeness. AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER absolutely earned a Geek Daddy nod of approval because of its stellar action sequences, thematic elements and immersive imagery. This is what it should be like to see a blockbuster movie! 

avatar way of water

After sitting though a movie with water rushing around the screen and probably drinking a large soda while watching it, you may not want to sit through the credits looking for a final scene. Yet no one wants to miss out on these surprises. So, here is a heads up if you would like to rush out to the bathroom as the credits start rolling. There is no post-credit scene. So don't feel like you need to stay in your seat. If you want to stick around though, there is some nice scenery shots of life on Pandora shown as the credits roll.

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The MPAA rating is for sequences of strong violence and intense action, partial nudity and some strong language. The movie has a runtime of 192 minutes. Directed by James Cameron, AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER stars Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington. 

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