The Way of the Universe

Avatar: The Way of Water
Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Kate Winslet
Director: James Cameron
Script: James Cameron, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver
Composer: Simon Franglen
Cinematography: Russell Carpenter
Lightstorm Entertainment/20ty Century Studios
Rating: PG 13
Running Length: 193 Minutes  

James Cameron has done it again. This director goes from one project to another with ease, but another chapter of “Avatar” was always in the background being planned and here it is. “Avatar: The Way of Water” with most of the cast from the 2009 film. They signed on for a sequel and had patience. Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Jermaine Clement are back. This is a continuing story of trying to change another world into the one you came from. Sound familiar? This has been going on for thousands of years and now it is in another universe. Special effects, as you can imagine, are spectacular, as is the soundtrack by Simon Franglen with Russell Carpenter on photography. You can get the story of the first “Avatar."  If you did not see the first “Avatar” it can be seen on television, various channels. 

Avatar means an embodiment or incarnation, in which one changes their person but retains the personality. In the film, it is past the middle of the 21st century and Earth needs new metals. Scientists use an avatar to replace themselves so they can co-exist with the local native population called Navi. In the first film, humans and natives did not get along and after a bitter engagement, humans were expelled from the planet in the Centari star system.  Fast forward and one of the humans, Jake (Sam Worthington) has stayed behind and retained his avatar form, then married Neytiri, daughter of a chief. Sigourney Weaver’s character died in the first “Avatar” film, but Sigourney comes back as the daughter of the character and adopted by Jake. Stephen Lang, a military person, also died in the first film, but was brought back as a soldier who wants revenge. The story goes back and forth between the tribes and humans and soldiers and revenge and escape and all that make a James Cameron film, only this time it is with plenty of water and creatures. There are new friendships and new territory to explore on this planet. You may need a notebook to remember all of the stars and their names. As far as acting is concerned, in “Avatar” films, there is characterization and there is human. So many characters, though in the film, it is hard to concentrate on one particular person before others take the screen.The first “Avatar” film certainly made an impression on film audiences and is the highest grossing film ever.  The second one is on its way to beat that record. The scope of this film encompasses language, designing new creatures, against a background of water (a favorite of James Cameron) and set far, far away from Earth. Jake (Worthington) and his group escape to a water part of the planet and there we meet new creatures.  This could be what happens to us over a hundred years from now when  traveling to other worlds is the final frontier.  Along the way, though, Cameron has worked with oceanographers in underwater sequences and helped develop ways to film that are unique. You just never know what will be out there looking back at us. 

James Cameron films are man against machines or man against nature. Beginning with “The Terminator” in 1984, and dealing with going back in time, he continued with “Aliens” in 1986, that dealt with humans against something truly awesome and awful. There was “The Abyss” with the sea and foreign objects.  The sea continued with the emotion-filled “Titanic” in 1997 that really put the audience in icy water. The first “Avatar” film was in 2009 and so it goes. When this director decides to go up against something in a script, it is a sequences beacon for the audience to follow. What does the future hold?  Well, “Avatar 3 and 4 and 5” are planned, so feel assured you will follow the adventures of the Navi for many years to come. 


Copyright 2023 Marie Asner