The new sequel Avatar: Way of Water was fun to watch but unnecessary

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A cover art of the new motion picture Avatar: The Way of Water

If a movie took 12 years to make and is three hours and 12 minutes long, I would expect an absolutely perfect masterpiece of a film. The sequel to Avatar, Avatar: The Way of Water was most definitely not that.

If you somehow don’t know, Avatar came out in 2009, and it followed Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) as he came to Pandora, became an Avatar—a chemically made version of the native people or Na’vi—and learned the ways of the Na’vi. In this sequel, we follow the Sully family as they, once again, fight the sky people—people from earth—and learn the ways of the water tribe.

After watching the first Avatar, I had high expectations for the sequel; my expectations were not met. My biggest, and honestly, the only complaint I have, is that the second film has the exact same plot as the first movie; I mean, some of the lines from the first movie were reused in the same circumstance. This movie cost $250 million to produce, and all that accumulated was the first movie set in water. 

Avatar is a message about taking care of our rainforests, and The Way of Water is a warning to guard our oceans and the animals around us.”

The plot was not the only thing copy and pasted into the second movie; the characters also had an uncanny resemblance to characters in the first motion picture. I understand that people’s kids will carry some of their personality traits; my sister and my mom are very similar people, so I did appreciate how Jake had a “mini-me” in the form of his son Lo’ak (Britian Dalton), but sadly, Lo’ak and Jake’s similarities didn’t stop at their personalities, so Lo’ak did not get his own plot line. He instead repeated history and got his dad’s plot from the first movie. 

This happened with Neytiri Sully (Zoe Saldana) and the daughter of the water tribe’s chief, Tsireya, who was reduced to a girl with a crush. She played the role that Neytiri filled in the first movie. I was thankful for the discrepancies between their personalities, though. Tsireya is quiet and fills any role she is assigned to, and I was slightly reminded of myself through her. 

I also adore the youngest Sully family member, Tuktirey (Trinity Bliss)—she is one of the best representations of a young child I have seen recently. She is a brave girl who, at the end of the day, cries for her parents and annoys her three older siblings. Though I did wish for more differences between this movie and the previous one, I do regret that we were robbed of the chance to see more of Norm and the fighter pilot, who played major roles in Jake’s life. But, in this movie, we saw maybe two scenes with Norm, and I don’t recall the fighter pilot being in the movie at all. 

Now, most of my complaints are out of the way, so I can discuss some of the highlights of the film: one is the breathtaking view. Pandora is a gorgeous planet filled with greenery and interesting species. The set highlights the beauty and danger of the planet. I am not an outdoorsy person, yet I still yearn to visit this paradise. I could not help but notice how Pandora is a mystical version of Earth, and this is clearly done on purpose. 

One of the goals of Avatar is to highlight how our own planet is dying. We are killing Earth. Avatar is a message about taking care of our rainforests, and The Way of Water is a warning to guard our oceans and the animals around us. One of the issues mentioned was the killing of whales. We kill these large majestic animals to use a small amount of their body for our greedy luxuries we can live without. This is the one trend in the Avatar movies I can accept. It is a vital chore to protect Earth; we don’t have to live the way the Na’vi do, sleeping in trees and being one with nature, but we can all take steps to thank mother nature and keep her healthy and mighty. 

While I loathed the re-used plot and character arcs, I appreciate the larger message the Avatar movies send to us “sky people” and the experience these films bring to the viewer.