By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Director, screenwriter, and producer James Cameron
makes quite a splash with “Avatar: The Way of Water,"
the long-awaited sequel to his 2009 blockbuster, "Avatar," which remains the highest grossing Hollywood film in history.
Is "Avatar: The Way of Water" worth the wait?
Definitely. It is a sprawling production and a special effects marvel thanks to advanced 3-D technology. At times it felt as if I was literally underwater soaking in all the stunning beauty alongside the characters and creatures that Cameron and cinematographer Russell Carpenter
vividly bring to life.
Yet, "The Way of Water" is also unnecessarily long. It clocks in at two hours and 12 minutes. Still, prepare to be impressed as you're transported back to the planet of Pandora and its Na'vi natives. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington, "9 Bullets") helped the Na'vi defeat Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang, "Don't Breathe") and his invading human army.
Well, Jake and his wife Neytiri (Zoe Saldana, "Amsterdam") are still fighting the good fight along with their expanded family that includes, Neteyam (Jamie Flatters, "The School for Good and Evil"), a warrior like his old man. The youngest brother Lo’ak (Britain Dalton, "Ready Player One") is jealous of him. There's also an eight-year-old daughter named Tuktirey (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, TV's "The Really Loud House"), along with an adopted teen daughter Kiri who—surprise-- is very much connected to the Avatar world.
In addition, there's an odd little chap named Spider (Jack Champion, "Avengers: Endgame") who isn't truly a Na'vi, but was raised as one and he finds his way within the family too.
However, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Jake and Neytiri are still trying to protect Pandora because a new threat has risen in a different form. Humans have devised a way to replicate Na'vi bodies and place memories of human soldiers in them. This is how Col. Quaritch (Lang) is able to return and wreak havoc.
His invasion forces Sully and his family to flee to a new world where the Metkayina live. They are a pale blue complexion and ocean navigating tribe led by Ronal (Kate Winslet, TV’s "Ruth" and "Mare of Easttown") and Tonowari (Cliff Curtis, "Reminiscence").
Although they are reluctant to embrace these outcasts, Sully, and his family, insist that they will adapt and respect their ways.
It's not easy for them, but they do. Soon both groups realize their skills are needed to survive Col. Quaritch's and his soldiers mounting threat.
The best way to see "Avatar: The Way of Water" is in 3-D. The only thing that would top that would be seeing it in IMAX 3-D. It's magnificent.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at my new times of 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.
Check Out This Trailer For "AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.