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The First Reviews of ‘Avatar: The Way Of The Water’

James Cameron is feeling the heat. The director of Avatar was responsible for one of the most costly films of all time ($237 million, according to budget monitors), which was also one of the most excellent earning pictures of all time ($2.92 billion). It received three Oscars. Thirteen years later, he hopes to accomplish the same feat with Avatar’s sequel: The Way Of The Water.

In fact, he’s contracted for a whole franchise. Avatar 3 has completed filming and will be released in 2024, followed by two further installments in 2026 and 2028.

By 2030, the only kind of entertainment available to humanity will be Avatar-related, rendering all other forms of art and culture outdated – but until then, let’s concentrate on The Way Of The Water, which premiered in London on Tuesday night.

Three hours in length, the audience was rewarded with the immediate lifting of the review embargo on social media, so the initial opinions of critics are available.

David Sims of The Atlantic gave it a positive review, stating, “AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER utterly owns bones. I was slapping my seat, hooting, and screaming for the Navi to eliminate each and every one of those damn sky people…

It’s an Avatar movie: sluggish start, enormous build, immensely fascinating second act with a tonne of world-building and amazing animals that blisses you out, followed by an hour of screamingly great crystal clear emotionally trenchant action that sends you home satisfied and pleased.”

Yolanda Machado of Entertainment Weekly appreciated the film’s visuals, although she was reminded of a few other films (with great advice for everyone): “James Cameron is a master of technology… Here, his guidance is at its most exact.

The film as a whole, despite its technological brilliance and beautiful environment, is only… Dances with Wolves and Free Willy for Generation Z! Urinate beforehand”

Amon Warmann of Empire magazine believes it’s a mixed bag, but better than the original: “Liked it, didn’t love it. The good news is that 3D is once again effective (yeah! ), and the action is rather spectacular (especially in the final act).

The First Reviews of ‘Avatar: The Way Of The Water’

The high frame rate was hit-or-miss for me, and several of the plots felt like they needed to be interrupted. Nonetheless, this film is visually stunning. Overall, I like The Way Of The Water more than Avatar 2009, if only because it has less overt white saviors than the original.”

Digital Spy’s Ian Sandwell considers it a “masterpiece” with a caveat: “The Way of Water is, unsurprisingly, a visual masterpiece with extensive use of 3D and magnificent panoramas. It has a shallow plot and too many people to keep track of, but James Cameron pulls together an astonishing final act filled with emotion and action.”

Alexander Kardelo of MovieZine adds that while the movie does not surpass expectations, it delivers a strong emotional punch: “While it does not beyond expectations, Cameron’s gorgeous sequel adds a heartfelt family drama. The stakes have increased. New likable protagonists are introduced. Prepare to shed a tear for the CGI whales and fall in love with the Sully children. 3 hours have never seemed so brief.”

Perri Nemiroff from Collider described it as “quite spectacular,” but the real credit must go to the world-building and actor Britain Dalton, who said, “I had trust that James Cameron would raise the bar with the VFX, but these sights are mind-blowing.” One breathtaking image after another.

But what I liked most was how the technological achievements were always in service of character development and world-building. As for the plot, it’s A LOT of movies, and I’m excited to revisit certain nuances on a second watch, but on the first viewing, it’s a really effective examination of community and family relationships. The returning cast is excellent, but the newcomers, especially Britain Dalton as Lo’ak, are just outstanding.

David Ehrlich of IndieWire feels the third installment should be made: “Lol, imagine being so stupid as to wager against James Cameron. or adolescent extraterrestrial Sigourney Weaver. or huge whales with papyrus subtitles. Incomparably superior to the original and easily one of the finest theatrical experiences in decades.

A dead stream was discovered in a ditch. Um, I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit for an Avatar 2 (even if ‘James Cameron + wet’ usually works out nicely). I cannot wait to watch Avatar 3! That was really all I hoped from this, and it more than delivered.”

So, is it merely hype or a genre-defining masterpiece? Decide for yourself when it reaches theatres in the United Kingdom on December 16.

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