Cameron’s sequel makes a splash

Come for the visuals, stay for the story. Avatar: The Way of Water is a modern science fiction action epic, says Times Film Reviewer Matthew Dann


A lot has happened in the world of cinema in the 13 years since the first Avatar movie was released. But for those of you who do not remember the original – do not worry – this film does a great job of refreshing our memories.

The main talking point with this movie, as was the case with the first, is the CGI. Director James Cameron and his team have used the latest technology to move this sequel above and beyond the original – the cinematic achievement of Avatar: The Way of Water is beyond comparison.

It is simply perfection. CGI has had its critics, but this movie is the perfect advert for the use of such methods in films. The vehicles looked real, the people, wildlife and fauna. Everything in Cameron’s world looks and moves as if it’s real.

Cameron has always been successful at making action movies. But it could be argued that he has been less successful when it comes to stories with deep narratives or drama. Here though, he manages to succeed at both.

The story itself, on the face of it, is very similar to the original. However, underneath the surface there is something much more complex.

Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña, are back in their roles as Jake and Neytiri respectively. Now though, they have a family.

There are scenes where Jake, Neytiri and their children are discovering new parts of their world after leaving their forest lives and entering a water and island-dwelling life. They are simply a joy to see, giving you the kind of feelings not often found in a modern Hollywood film.

The main theme of the film is family. There are also themes of discovery, finding yourself and also finding others. Characters grow, they learn and develop as the film progresses. All of which culminates in the final third.

The other aspect of this film are the action sequences. They are plentiful, and again, fun to watch. It does not feel as though they are the focal point, nor does it feel they are unnecessary.

Everything in this film has been carefully thought out, and carefully crafted, that is clear for all to see. All in all, it was a pleasure to re-visit the world of Pandora and its inhabitants.

This film can be seen in either 2D or 3D, I saw this film in 2D and it looked fantastic. I can only imagine that seeing the film in 3D would be an extra-special experience.

I saw this film at the Tunbridge Wells Odeon. It is showing throughout the day at multiple times during the entire festive period.

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