The Avatar Way of the Water Review

January 15, 2023

Yesterday I spent nearly three and a half hours in an IMAX movie theater with a good chunk of Boston to experience James Cameron’s latest Avatar movie. Many years after the original film I had little memory of the characters or plot line, but my trips to Disney World last year helped me have some context for the new movie. The good news is you do not need a history lesson to enjoy the symphony of special effects that you are sitting down to enjoy. Way of the Water is a movie designed to tickle your retinas, not your brain.

Avatar is a Long Movie

Clocking in at over three hours Cameron’s masterpiece guns to beat Major League Baseball in event length. It is completely fine. Every minute is fun. Given the length the movie is likely better enjoyed on a rainy mid-afternoon than capping off or preceding dinner.

The Story Works (Spoiler Free)

The story and plot lines are easy to follow, as are the major characters and factions. We are not dealing with Game of Thrones level of complexity. Many of the same themes from the first movie carry over to this one. I do not think any writing awards will be made but you will not be bored.

The Special Effects are Incredible

Using 3D technology and computers Cameron sets the bar for how movies should be made in this format. It is a shame that few other movie makers have figured out how to do this. Way of the Water feels native to the three dimensional format in a way that makes other movies feel shoehorned into it.

If You Want to Watch This Movie Do it in a Theater

Unless you have a television capable of 3D, you are not going to get the full spectacle that this movie delivers. You need to see it in a movie theater, preferably in IMAX. I am sure it will be fine to watch at home if you do not want to spend the money, but the experience of seeing it in a theater is something special. Do not wait for it to be released on streaming. You will regret it.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.