Avatar: The Way of Water Review

Avatar: The Way of Water Review

Published on 20 May 2023

I’m conflicted about almost every aspect of this movie, but I did enjoy it. The sheer volume of narrative plate-spinning in attempt to win back an audience that forgot almost everything from the first film is frustrating at times, to the detriment of the story. Whose story even is it? I guess it’s an ‘ensemble’, whatever, but the pacing is so whiplash-inducing that I found myself caring more about the mystical whale than any of the characters with voices.

Conversely, I don’t think this would’ve worked absent of all the thematic and technical self-indulgence; how else could you convince this jaded, fickle movie-watching public to park their arses for three plus hours without cramming the run-time full of something for everyone?

Corny at times, but endearing; the level of detail in fleshing out this sci-fi fantasy world is admirable, if a little on-the-nose in its messaging. Of course, the VFX are fucking crazy good 95% of the time – emotions and subtle facial communication is rendered at such a high standard and the way characters interact and collide with what appear to be real objects and particles in the environments is insane.

Only a few moments where the blemishes become apparent, particularly in sequences with a lot of motion, the models OCCASIONALLY seem jerky or awkward – perhaps the variable FPS/refresh rates plays a part in that, I don’t know, maybe corners were cut – but it’s pretty flawless, for the most part!

Anyway, I had a good time, obviously.