Avatar 2 Makes a Splash in Thearters


Conrado Salinas

Movie poster for James Cameron’s Avatar 2: The Way of Water

Thirteen years ago, James Cameron’s Avatar captivated audiences with the story of one man finding a home with alien people more than four light years away from earth. On December 16, 2022 the sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, debuted in theaters and left audiences equally as impressed.
Over a decade after the events of the first movie, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have started a family and settled into life on Pandora. However, when Colonel Quaritch returns to Pandora in search of revenge, Sully and his family must find new residence amongst the water people.
The sequel has proven to be a success, earning $134 million during the opening weekend and $1.5 billion worldwide. This makes Avatar 2 the highest grossing movie of last year, which, considering Cameron’s previous works, isn’t surprising.
The director’s attention to detail helps the audience immerse themselves into this world. Water people have different physical features that help them move through the water, rather than trees. Rather than bonding with giant flying creatures to soar high above the trees, water people bond with aquatic creatures to dive in and out of the water. In the first movie, Cameron gave culture and depth to a fictional species and made the audience care for them, and his talent and imagination is able to entrance audiences just the same.
Cameron uses these films as a way to spread awareness about a global crisis. The original Avatar movie drew attention to deforestation and mining and its impact on the environment. In this movie, he focuses on the effects of overfishing and poaching, a problem that is negatively impacting our own planet.
The movie, in its entirety, is inspiring. An unconventional family fights to survive together. Major themes of family and perseverance are apparent throughout the movie. The audience watches as the Sully family struggles to acclimate to a new environment and way of life, which is a struggle that most people can relate to. When the audience can connect to the story, the film becomes more personal
The film is still a success, that is not to say fans don’t have criticisms of their own. Visually, the film is brilliant, but after looking past the CGI it becomes clear that the film has many flaws. Cameron spends so much time building the world that he forgot to build the characters. When the audience can’t get to know the characters it’s impossible to establish a connection to the film.
While the film has received mostly positive reviews from critics, some people are apprehensive about seeing the film due to the run time. The movie is just over three hours long which is a long time to sit in the movie theater. Luckily the sequel will be available on Disney+ by early February, along with the original.
According to Disney, five movies will comprise the Avatar series. Cameron recently announced that filming has wrapped on the third movie, which will be released at the end of
next year, and production has already begun on the fourth, which will be released in 2026. The sequels are already highly anticipated. Fans are excited to see more of Pandora in years to come.