Avatar: The Way of Water” introduces a new clan of reef dwellers
Avatar took a simple story and embellished it with jaw-dropping spectacle. Transforming it into a must-see commodity and a box office smash. Thirteen years later, director James Cameron has done it again with “Avatar: The Way of Water. A state-of-the-art exercise that rekindles that sense of wonder.
Although Cameron has already announced plans for multiple “Avatar” sequels
The filmmaker has thrown so much technical wizardry, scope, and scale into this 190-minute epic that one gets the impression he approached directing it as if there might never be another, leaving everything on the field – or rather, the waves.
Furthermore, “The Way of Water” introduces a completely new Na’vi subculture of reef people. Complete with their own evolutionary adaptations and remarkable fauna with which they bond. Marrying the original to Cameron’s well-documented love of the ocean and its exploration.
The plot of “The Way of Water” like that of the 2009 film,
It is hardly groundbreaking, but rather a cleverly assembled treatise on the sins of imperialism. Environmental message, and, in the main wrinkle, family dynamics, constructed in such a way that each of the children has their own issues while largely avoiding the Disney Channel-style missteps that could result.
The sequel picks up many years later, with Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaa) now proud parents of four children, still finding time for “date nights” that include euphorically soaring above the Pandora landscape.
“Happiness is simple,” Jake says in voiceover, until the “sky people” return to lay siege to their paradise, this time motivated by a “WALL-E”-style dilemma involving having polluted Earth beyond habitability, prompting the commander of this mission (Edie Falco) to speak of the imperative to “pacify the hostiles.”
Jake chooses to seek refuge with the aforementioned water clan, the Metkayina, out of concern for his family, which he repeatedly describes as a father’s primary mission.
Of course, fleeing will only postpone the seemingly inevitable showdown, but it provides an opportunity to introduce a rich new culture while also exposing both parents and their offspring to the adjustments that their new surroundings necessitate. The kids, in particular, must deal with the personalities and pettiness that come with being the new kids on the reef.