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Avatar 2: A Review

I have now seen Avatar 2: The Way of Water. It was a movie. It was a sequel to Avatar, the James Cameron motion picture and not the M. Night Shyamalan one, and it should be noted that Avatar is one of my favorite movies of all time.

I’m glad I saw it. I was unable to see it before now thanks to illness, but we finally got over everything and caught the movie in the theater.

Like I said, it was a movie. I am glad I saw it. I hope the next one is better. Maybe the next one will even be good.

Does that sound like I thought it was a bad movie? I guess it does, and I suppose in a few ways I did think it was not a great movie.

Visually, it was stunning, even in 2D. I wanted to see it in 3D, but 3D gives a lot of my family headaches, and I wasn’t going to put them through that. But even in 2D, like I say, it was visually amazing, as long as the humans weren’t in the scene framed with the Na’vi – when they were, the proportions all felt… wrong, and inconsistent, compared to Avatar.

Actually, that’s the main thing about this movie: if Avatar 2 wasn’t a sequel, it’d have been okay. As it was, though, they recycled so many beats from the first movie that it felt like I was watching a retread and not a sequel.

“Make sure they say ‘outstanding!’ like they did in the first movie!” (Even if it was a different character who said it, it was used in the same manner.)

“Make sure the closing scene had the dramatic pupil pop from Sully!”

“Let’s make the humans’ goals as simple and stupid and short-sighted as possible!”

I did appreciate a few things: I liked the expanded character universe, I was glad that James Cameron allowed someone relatively important to die (even if it wasn’t one of the main characters we were supposed to care about), and the whaling references really landed for me, even if they were rushed and hurriedly done…

… and of course Cameron missed the chance to make Moby Dick in SPAAAAACE, just like Avatar was Pocahontas in SPAAAAACE.

I missed the first few moments of the movie, because the concessions stand took forever, and people had appropriated our (perfectly placed!) seats in the theater, but honestly… if the movie had lived up to most of its potential, I’d go back and watch it in 3D in the theater, because like I said, Avatar is one of my favorite movies.

But this one… I’m glad I saw it, and I’m glad seeing it is in the past. Cameron spent all of his mojo on the special effects, and they paid off in a big way, but left the budget for the script out, and the movie suffers for it.

Out of ten stars, with ten stars being “OMG THIS IS AS GOOD AS AVATAR”: five stars.

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