Movie Review: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’

Movie Review: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’

Karam Vincen (9th gr.), Columnist

Many have seen the 2009 film ‘Avatar.’ If you’re one of those people who have, you’ll know that this film’s graphics were far beyond its years. Almost the entire movie of ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’, and over sixty percent of the first Avatar movie, is CGI (computer-generated images.)  The second Avataravatar movie takes place over a decade after the first film, where the planet of Pandora is now home to Jake Sully, Neytiri, and their four children. Neteyam is their older son who is respectful and obedient. The typical rebellious younger son goes by the name of Lo’ak. Jake’s youngest daughter Tuk is an absolutely adorable and innocent little kid whom they are most protective of. Finally, their teenager Kiri who is a curious empath whose birth mother was scientist Grace Augustine, an important character that passed in the first movie. A human boy left behind by Colonel Quaritch that goes by ‘Spider’ is now raised among the Na’vi, and completes their family.

Chaos breaks loose when Quaritch and his team of “sky people” come back to colonize Pandora in their new Na’vi avatar forms. Jake and his family escape to the Metkayina clan on Pandora’s shores, led by Ronal and Tonowari. Sullys then learn to explore the breathtaking aquatic world of Pandora’s islands and its many creatures that were hidden beneath the sea. This includes the Tulkuns, highly intelligent whale-like mammals who are spiritually connected with the Metkayina.

The film is visually stunning, soaking up every frame with gorgeous graphics that are bright and colorful. Though it’s the underwater world that is the most breathtaking, a love letter to the ocean where the marine life glows and shows the audience the beauty in their world. The story is very well written, the audience is given the chance to connect with the characters and invest in their journey from the very start, rooting for them against the sky people. This causes you to form emotional connections with the characters making you more invested in their film. The introduction of the young children easily wins us over and they quickly stand out. Especially Lo’ak, who forms a heartwarming bond with Payakan, an outcast among the Tulkun.

The movie brings both heartfelt and humorous moments, bringing tears to our eyes one minute and making us laugh the next. The three-hour and ten-minute movie flies by. It’s only the first hour that feels a bit unnecessary, but once the Metkayina and their part of Pandora are introduced in the second hour, you’ll be invested. Avatar: The Way of Water is brilliant with epic scales and proportions, meaning this is best watched in IMAX. There were many moments that earned applause, and others got the crowd cheering. For lack of a better word, this cinematic move is an absolute masterpiece.

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