Avatar The Way of Water: Spoiler-Free Review

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Avatar The Way of Water
Avatar The Way of Water

Avatar The Way of Water: Spoiler-Free Review. What could either be the biggest box office smash hit, most loved movie of the next year, or the largest money sink, review-bombed, flop of all time, We went to IMAX and saw Avatar The Way of Water yesterday. Is it worth your 3 hours and 12 minutes? Can the same team that gave us Titanic, relive the glory and success they once achieved? Can “Water” live up to the hype train, or in this case anti-Hype train? Most important, can I go to the bathroom, and when?

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure. Directed by James Cameron and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, the film stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, and Kate Winslet.

Related: Disney Parks are Celebrating the Release of Avatar The Way of Water

Avatar The Way of Water
Avatar The Way of Water

Avatar is the most successful movie of all time! Yes, it is fighting for that top spot against another Disney franchise movie, Avengers: End Game, but as of this writing, it is #1 with over $2.9 Billion in worldwide box office receipts. This means Avatar the Way of Water has a giant mark against it already. How can a sequel 13 years later even come close to that? Will people care, and should they? The simple answer is Yes, and I think when the dust settles, it may actually land in the top 10 of all time.

Let’s go back a few months to Disney D23 Expo 2022 where we got to experience Avatar The Way of Water 3D preview in Hall D. At the time I was blown away. I think you can find past articles where people, including myself, thought it looks stunning and beautiful, and all the other adjectives expressing the pleasure of seeing it. The unfortunate part was it looked like the acting was horrid and you couldn’t really see the story or tell what was going on.

This brings us back to the present, a day after James Cameron releases Avatar The Way of Water into the world, and a day after we saw the movie in an IMAX theater.

Avatar The Way of Water

The reviews are coming in, and they are trending on the positive side. The CinemaScore is also in, and it has an A rating. Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score is at 94%, Google Review is 4.6/5, and the box office receipts are showing that it may hit $150 million domestically, while worldwide it may do better than a $325 Billion opening. The box office money is what matters, with people screaming that the movie must make over 1 billion to break even (We cannot confirm this rumor, but that is what people are discussing)

So what did we here at Chip and Company think? And to go back to the beginning, when can I go to the bathroom?

Quite simply put, James Cameron and Jon Landau may be the only people to revolutionize the same movie experience with the same gimmick, but 13 years apart. The 3D experience is magical and transported us into the scenes. This time though we go underwater to these vast worlds that feel like we can reach out and touch the creatures swimming. It got so intense at one point, I found myself holding my breath trying to breathe along with Jake Sully’s children.

Avatar The Way of Water
Avatar The Way of Water

When all is said and done and James Cameron is done making Avatar movies, 5 total, that we know of, The Way of Water will be viewed as the first movie in this arc, whereas Avatar will be viewed as a prequel. Almost like The Hobbit book is the prequel to the vast world and storytelling of Lord of the Rings.

The world of Pandora is massive and the way the story unfolds gives us the feeling that more is out in the world than we know of, yet. Moving from the forests and all the action that takes place, to the oceans where water plays a significant role in the future of the Sully clan. Where Family means to stick together, and family does not mean blood family.

This actually is the time to run to the bathroom! Small Spoiler: When the Family is flying out of the forests, and over the oceans, this is an ideal time for the first bathroom break. It is just visual porn for the senses. You don’t miss anything major, and when you get back you will be treated to some of the best parts of Avatar The Way of Water… … the water.

Avatar The Way of Water
Avatar The Way of the Water

Overall, the visuals live up to the hype, the 3D is massive, and watching it on an IMAX screen or a Dolby Cinema Screen is where this will stand out. The storytelling was way better than we expected, yes it has some generic tropes that any action movie will have, and yes the kids have some cringe-worthy conversations, but they are kids and that is what they do.

I have to say the stand out is the Sully family. Jake Sully and Neytiri take on the parental roles exactly how you think they would. Jake is military, and Neytiri is from a royal household. Now throw in a bunch of kids and an incoming war, and boom you have a plot.

Rating: 4.8/5 – Avatar The Way of Water takes you on the hero’s journey in what will turn out to be a massive story. Visually, it is the best 3D movie I have ever experienced. Overall Story can be considered generic, but it gets us started. Nothing stood out as bad, but nothing stood out as Oscar-worthy either. With that said, I did find myself rooting for certain characters where during some intense action sequences I actually held my breath and felt like I was underwater.

This is not the best movie or greatest storytelling, but this is the greatest movie experience of the year. There is something about Pandora that felt inviting, but it also felt like we have been here before. Like all sequels of fantasy/Sci-fi once you see the world for the first time, every movie after suffers.

Just some random thoughts: Of all the children in the movie, Sigourney Weaver playing Kiri is outstanding! If your heart doesn’t break when Neytiri screams, you are a heartless bastard. 3D IMAX is amazing. I can’t wait for Avatar 3 now.

Avatar The Way of Water
Avatar The Way of the Water


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Greg Gately
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