Avatar 2: A plot worth over $250 million


Courtesy of Worthing Theatres

“Avatar: The Way of Water” released Dec. 16 and hit $2 billion on Jan. 22. While it’s been praised on its visuals, some believe the story line could use some improvement.

As of Jan. 22, James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” surpassed the $2 billion mark. In spite of its breathtaking visuals and 13-year wait, many viewers walked away from the three-hour film echoing the same general statement: “Yeah it looked cool, but the plotline was lacking.” Although it was released on Dec. 16, I can’t help but feel this consensus is worth addressing.

I have mixed feelings about sequels, in fact, I have a section of my Disney review dedicated to the impact an impressive or poorly-executed sequel can have on a studio’s image. Before I settled into my seat with a large popcorn, I made a point not to expect any more or less of James Cameron based on his past films. 

In the end, I learned that I can rely on him. 

Determining whether or not “The Way of Water” met expectations boils down to the impact of the original movie. “Avatar” (2009) carried the importance of honoring what is sacred, acknowledging the interconnectedness of life, and warning against the effects of greed and arrogance. “The Way of Water” brought similar themes, but the sacredness focused heavily on family bonds.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” features Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) and their family after the human threat to Pandora resurfaces. Jake’s highest priority is protecting his family, even if it means leaving their home. This is a bit different from the previous film, where there was a heavy focus on loyalty to the Omatikaya clan. 

The introduction of new characters, Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo’ak (Britian Dalton) and Tuktirey (Trinity Bliss) add more dimension to the film by introducing new storylines. Kiri’s unique connection to Eywa is stupefying, leaving more to be explained in the next movie. Neteyam’s steadfast efforts to impress are heartwarming and offer a stark contrast to Lo’ak’s spontaneous, and sometimes destructive, endeavors. 

Colonel Quaritch may have appeared as a wasted villain, but combined with Spider’s (Jack Champion) story arc, Cameron is building a bridge between the humans and Na’vi that will open the scope of negotiations in the future.

James Cameron didn’t produce the sequel to answer every question viewers have about Pandora. With three more movies underway, it’s clear that “The Way of Water” was intended to increase viewer curiosity about the fate of Pandora and Na’vi culture. In addition to the newly-introduced Metkayina clan, Cameron is adding two more cultures to the third movie, allowing viewers to enjoy more stunning visuals and environmental awe. While the story structure may be near identical to the first movie, new characters and visuals give “Avatar: The Way of Water” an unmatched charm that was certainly worth the wait.