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Film Reviews by Lisa Blanck
Avatar: The Way of Water
| Saturday, 12.17.2022, 02:24 AM |   (4920 views)

To catch you up since we last saw the Na’vi in 2009, the Earth is now really REALLY dying and the militaristic Sky People (boo! hiss!) who inhabit the third rock from the sun have deemed Pandora to be their best chance to save whoever is still earthbound.  It’s their ‘White-human-God-given’ right to ‘pacify the hostiles’, AKA destroy an indigenous culture, kill their men and capture their women and children and make the survivors submit to their obvious (ahem) superiority.

It's been 13 years since ex-Marine Jake Sully became a Pandorian Avatar, after disposing of some very destructive Marines.  He hooked up with native Neytiri, and the union produced three half-breed, 5-fingered children.  And now, the Marines want to not only take over the planet, but also take their long-awaited revenge on Sully.  Realizing that remaining with the Forest Clans would endanger the lives of everyone there, the family Sully hightails it to the land of the Sea Clans, many days ride away to another part of Pandora.

In tow with them is adopted human son Spider, whose parentage is a cypher, and adopted daughter Kiri, whose mom was the late scientist Grace Augustine, who also became an Avatar like Jake.

And the chase begins. 

Now, that is the basic groundwork of the film. However the simple story itself is completely enriched, but never overwhelmed, by the truly stunning artistry of the graphics, special effects and excitement of this new Avatar.

If you don’t see it in full 3D, with booming sound and motion effects, you’re cheating yourself.  Usually, I’m one of those who pooh-poohs 3D.  Not this time.  You’re taken on a trip in a submarine, fly into the mouth of a waterspout and if it doesn’t leave you yearning to dive-dive-dive, your imagination is dead in the water.

There’s a parallel story about the stupid, wasteful, arrogant humans hunting another indigenous species for their very precious bodily fluid, which can only be obtained by killing and gutting these highly sentient beings. Beings who, like the Na’vi, have their own language, songs, mathematics, families, etc.  These creatures, the whale-like Tulkun, have been around even longer than the Na’vi.  The Tulkun are worshipped by the Sea Clans.  And like Jake, one Tulkun has been cast out by his tribe.  On a side note, if you're at all familiar with the documentary entitled Blackfish, you're familiar with the whale named Tilikum.  I do NOT think the similarity in names is a coincidence on the part of Director James Cameron.

Outcasts befriended by outcasts.  Coming in at 3 hours, 12 minutes, Avatar: The Way of Water is a definitely epic in length.  Fortunately for all involved, it’s also epic in enjoyment.  And just like the way of water, let the beauty of the film flow over you and envelope you. 

Lisa Blanck is the Associate Editor and Movie Reviewer for In Focus  Her background includes 30+ years of digital editing for WESH2 News and WKMG News.  She also edits on-air spots for Matter Of Fact, a highly-rated nationally syndicated news and information program.  For more than 20 years she has covered the Florida Film Festival and the World Peace Film Festival, with additional experience in advertising, marketing, promotions and live special events at MTV Networks.  She was previously a columnist for the Focus In Newspaper.  

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