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Avatar The Way of Water Dolby Cinema Review

Avatar The Way of Water Dolby Cinema Review

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.

Directed by James Cameron and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, the Lightstorm Entertainment Production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Kate Winslet.

The Good

The visuals of Avatar The Way of Water and the action grab your attention almost immediately. From the moment you sit down your jaw will likely hit the floor because the movie doesn’t waste time with the opening credits before the movie starts. That said, do yourself a favor and see this movie in the biggest loudest theater you possibly can. Whatever is available to you if it’s IMAX or Dolby Cinema or RPX 4D or whatever just do yourself a favor and splurge on the experience. I saw this movie in the Dolby Cinema at AMC Lincoln Square and I sat in the mezzanine. I have to say that it was an absolutely amazing film to splurge on and go for the full experience. Early in the movie, I noticed that James Cameron was actually using sound as a prop in the movie. There were moments when a helicarrier would fly across the screen and the sound of the propellers would make the theater RUMBLE. It’s these moments that stand out and allow you to enjoy the experience of watching as much as you enjoy the film. The visuals of Avatar The Way of Water are extremely sharp. The graphics are so sharp that some of you eagle-eyed viewers will notice some differences between the graphics in some of the scenes as if some shots were worked on by different visual effects studios but for the most part, everything looks amazingly sharp. 

I think the visuals here are a huge improvement even on the re-release of the original Avatar. Now I have to admit that the first time I saw the first Avatar I saw that movie in 2D and it affected my perspective on that movie. I saw the movie again during the re-release in September, which was my first time seeing it in 3D, and that helped a lot! The 3D effects in the movie go a long way in helping you get immersed and your overall enjoyment. The immersion is helped by the story itself being accessible. Avatar The Way Of Water is the best movie sequel that I’ve seen in a very long time. Movie sequels have the burden of honoring the expectations of the film that came before them and Avatar The Way of Water is following in the footsteps of the highest-earning film of all time. That said AVatar does a good job of paying homage to the original and introducing new concepts.  Avatar The Way of Water doesn’t dwell in the past and will thrust you into what’s new, especially with the Na’vi water tribes. 

Avatar The Way Of Water is a story about a father and sons. It’s a story about expectations vs realities. It’s a story about cross-generational family relationships, especially with the sons seeking their own identities in the shadow of their father. I really enjoy the multilayered storytelling that helps serve a very rich fulfilling experience. The teenage angst, the discovery of new places and concepts, the learning of acceptance of change, and the rivalries. Oh, there are some rivalries with teenage immaturity in full effect throughout. The interpersonal relationships of the characters make this movie dense enough that it may take repeat viewings to really absorb everything that’s happening. Everything from Spider and Quaritch to Jake and his sons. And let’s not forget about EVERYTHING with Kiri. There’s so much just to unpack with Kiri that it may be very easy to miss some important key details in her story. I like this style of storytelling and the movie is entertaining enough that it has a lot of rewatchability.

The Bad

I think Avatar The Way Of Water has a villain problem. Stephen Lang is back in this movie and he’s just as ferocious as he was in the first movie. Through some in-movie science shenanigans Quaritch is back but this time in a Na’Vi body which is a little too convenient. Now I know that villains are a challenge when creating a movie like this and there’s a reason that almost every Batman movie features the Joker as the villain. Avatar The Way Of Water does some interesting things to make Quaritch’s return work but it does feel a little forced. Part of me wishes they would have introduced a completely new character as the villain. I think of movies like Wakanda Forever and I give a lot of credit to director Ryan Coogler for delivering 2 strong villains in each of his Black Panther films. It’s not to say that Avatar 2 feels like Avatar 1 because of Quaritch but it feels familiar to overcome the same protagonist as the first movie. 

This is interesting because Avatar 2 has no problem with introducing new characters. It actually feels like there are way too many new characters in this for me to remember. I dare any one of you who saw this movie to name 2 of Jake’s kids. I’ll wait. And you can’t say Nateyum. Sigourney Weaver returns in this movie but she’s playing an entirely new character in this film than she did in the first film. Jake also has 2 other kids, along with Nateyum and Kiri, and also a pet human that got left behind by the sky people in Avatar 1 named Spider. Then there’s the chief and his wife of the water tribe, their 2 or 3 kids, a race of giant sea monsters along with their kids that also all have names, and it all just feels overwhelming. 

Avatar The Way Of Water is a very long movie. As much as I enjoyed every second of revisiting Pandora I have to admit that there came a point when I felt the movie could have ended but just wouldn’t. Some movies are long and feel like they could have kept going, this movie just feels long.  I can imagine James Cameron sitting in the editing room fighting to keep in every second of this movie. I know this movie was too long because I checked my watch while watching to calculate how much time was left. You know there’s something off when you start checking your watch during a movie. It’s an odd feeling and one that you will likely notice in the last 30-45 minutes of the movie.

Overall

This is one of the best Sci-Fi films of the year and is almost a perfect film. Some better editing and some more development of the supporting cast of Pandora would have helped balance things out.

I give Avatar The Way Of Water a 9 out of 10

That’s all I have for this one.

Dolby Cinema offers guests the complete Dolby movie experience. Dolby Cinema unlocks the emotional impact of every film, allowing you to see the subtle details and ultravivid colors of Dolby Vision, and hear the immersive sound of Dolby Atmos. Experience Avatar: The Way of Water the way its filmmakers intended at Dolby Cinema in Dolby Vision 3D, and discover unmatched picture quality, incredible brightness, vibrant colors and exceptional 3D separation and accuracy, for a truly unique experience so lifelike, you’ll feel like you’re in Pandora.

  • Acting - 8/10
    8/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 10/10
    10/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 9/10
    9/10
  • Setting/Theme - 10/10
    10/10
  • Watchability - 10/10
    10/10
  • Rewatchability - 10/10
    10/10
Overall
9.5/10
9.5/10
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