Avatar— A Review

Avatar— A Review December 28, 2022

By now it seems almost a third of the world has seen Avatar 2: The Way of Water, the number one film worldwide, easily eclipses all the other Christmas movies combined for size of audience.  It has indeed been a long time coming, and I was determined to do it justice, going to the only IMAX theater in Lexington to see it. My advice— go to the bathroom before going into the theater, as the movie is 3 hours and 12 minutes long with no intermission.  It needed an intermission like other long movies (e.g. Gone with the Wind).  The movie has already brought in some 250 million dollars at least at the box office, but it cost more than that to make it.  And it is set more than a decade after the first Avatar film– a good thing since it took so many years to make it.

I will allow the Geek above do the explaining of the back story and fore story and history of pandora whom I have provided the You Tube clip of above.  I will just give you some of my impressions.  Clearly, this is one of the most visually stimulating and in various scenes, beautiful movie ever filmed.  If only we could actually visit a place like Pandora, both the flora and fauna, both the creatures and the aliens are endlessly fascinating.  While the Sky People, aka the humans who want to take over the planet because Earth is dying and an escape ramp is needed, are generally ruthless, mean, brutal, violent, greedy, foul-mouthed, and just plain unlikeable.  The movie is a sort of reboot of a cowboy and Indian drama with the Indians being the more primitive yet more likable ones in the whole story.  All the military hard wear in the world  and all the technological process have not made the Sky People better or more likable People. If anything they remind us of the old adage that all power corrupts and ultimate power corrupts ultimately.

One of the major themes of the film is family, and in this one way it is a bit like the Fast and Furious franchise— just as violent, but at the same time just as focused on protecting family.   The IMAX production provides some very very loud war scenes, and frankly there are just too many of them in this film, which could have been more effective with less such scenes.   In the end, violence doesn’t serve the natives or the invading Sky People at all well in their attempt to solve their life problems.   Indeed, the creatures, especially the whale like creatures in the film seem to be more likable, more sensible, more loving, and better at taking care of their families than the aliens and humans are.

As for the philosophy or theology of the film it is rather pantheistic or even Buddhist at points with the all life is one, and all life is interconnected message.

This film is absolutely worth seeing, though I’d suggest go to a regular rather than the IMAX showing which is very expensive even for seniors.  I would absolutely not take small children to this film both because of its violence but also because of its length.  I have no doubt the film will win some awards, especially for cinematography, and in general the plot of this film is much better than the last one (including subplots about sibling rivalries, getting along with strangers, and more).  And of course, how could I not like the Navi— a people who are Carolina blue by golly!

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