Critics on James Cameron’s sequel

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  • December 18, 2022

Disney bets big on Avatar: The Way of Water

James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel to 2009’s “Avatar” arrives in theaters this weekend and it has critics captivated and exasperated.

Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which clocks in at over three hours long, is being hailed as a stunning piece of cinema, generating a “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But, its narrative is thin and, like the original, doesn’t hold up against Cameron’s lofty technical ambitions, several critics said.

“The Way of Water” follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) who are now the parents of four Na’vi children. The family is driven from their forest home when humans return to re-colonize parts of Pandora.

Read more: “Avatar: The Way of Water” could be headed for a $175 million opening weekend

Critics are adamant that audiences should watch “The Way of Water” on the biggest screen possible, lauding the film for its you-won’t-believe-this-is-computer-generated visuals and bombastic sound design.

But the film’s long runtime was a fault point for many, who found that Cameron’s script was too thin to justify three hours in a theater.

Here’s what critics thought of “Avatar: The Way of Water” before its Friday release.

Eric Francisco, Inverse

Avatar: The Way of Water

Courtesy: Disney Co. 

Charlotte O’Sullivan, Evening Standard

Wenlei Ma, News.com.au

Those that found themselves returning to the theater again and again to see “Avatar” on the big screen a decade ago, “The Way of Water” is “vivid and enthralling.”

For those that found the first film overly long and thin on story, “The Way of Water” won’t do much to endear you to the world of Pandora.

“This sequel will repeat your experience of the first,” wrote Wenlei Ma in her review of the film for News.com.au.

Avatar: The Way of Water

Courtesy: Disney Co.

Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

Avatar: The Way of Water

Courtesy Disney Co.

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

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