Now a father, Jake Sully shelters his family with the Na'vi of the
ocean when the human race returns to finish what they started.
Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
Directed by James Cameron
Written by James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Kate Winslet, Joel David Moore,
Britain Dalton, Jamie Flatters, Brendan Cowell,
Jemaine Clement, Bailey Bass, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco
Sequel to 2009's Avatar
For some inexplicable reason, Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all time, despite having zero impact on popular culture. It took James Cameron thirteen years to make good on his promise of a sequel, mostly because he wanted to create underwater mocap tech to enhance the film's visual effects. They look great, but no different than the first film. Again, the story suffers in place of stunning visuals, though it is slightly better than the first one's story. It doesn't need to be over three hours long, that's for sure.
Jake Sully (Worthington) is now a father, having had three kids with Neytiri (Saldana) and adopted a surprise baby that was somehow birthed from Sigourney Weaver's avatar from the first movie. We never get an explanation for this, Kiri's (Weaver) magic powers, or who the father was. I think Cameron was going for some immaculate conception thing, but it wasn't very clear. Anyway, the human race has returned with a bigger army to take over Pandora, with an alien clone of Col. Quaritch (Lang) leading the pack. We get a video log of Stephen Lang literally explaining to his clone what the deal is, which just felt lazy. Just come up with a new bad guy. Jake, to protect his family, hides with the ocean Na'vi and learns the way of water. They also save the alien whales. It's not bad, but it could've been better.
I'm sure The Way of Water will repeat the first film's success in more ways than one. It will be largely successful, have no impact on pop culture, have legions of loyal gatekeeping fans, and then we'll get part three in a decade or so. If you like these movies, great, but I just don't see it. This one was better, but it's still all style and little substance that repeats the story elements of the first one constantly.