Vampire Owl: Do you remember when we watched the first film?
Vampire Bat: That was too long ago for anything to be remembered.
Vampire Owl: Yet, it was like the first of its kind during old days.
Vampire Bat: Too many movies are first of their type.
Vampire Owl: Well, in that case, I have never really liked the second film of any franchise.
Vampire Bat: The lack of such a unique feeling will be evident.
Vampire Owl: Even the corona virus pandemic seems to be lacking in the same thing.
Vampire Bat: I have often liked the third and fourth movies better.
Vampire Owl: We can wait for that to happen after watching this.
Vampire Bat: I wonder how much of an infinity of films we will need to watch further sequels for a film which ended so well with the first one.
[Gets a vegetable samosa and three cups of Munnar tea].
What is the movie about? :: Years have passed since the first human attempt of colonising the planet of Pandora. As the natural resources of the Earth have been further depleted, leading to the planet’s near devastation, humans have been further trying to quickly colonize Pandora, and a newer and advanced base has been formed for the same purpose. The Resources Development Administration had been mining the mineral known as unobtanium on the planet, but now it has become about something more. Pandora continues to be dominated by the creatures known as Na’vi, who are 10-foot-tall blue-skinned humanoids who live in harmony with nature and considered the elements of the same as gods, particularly the Great Mother, also known as Eywa. But humans would care less about nature, as they have destroyed the same on their own planet, which could die soon enough, forcing a human exodus into this planet in the Alpha Centauri. As a technologically advanced race, humans could take on the indigenious species with brutal power.
So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) who had served for humans is now completely a part of Na’vi as the leader of the forest people known as the Omaticaya. He continues to be with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) with whom he raises and guides children including the sons Neteyam (James Flatters) and Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), daughter Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss), adopted daughter Kiri (Sigourney Weaver) and a human boy named Spider (Jack Champion), the son of the human commander who was unable to be transported to Earth due to the young age. Spider is not particularly liked by anyone except Jake and his children, as everyone in the tribe including Neytiri are doubtful about him as he is a child of the enemy who can return at any moment. They keep preparing themselves for this return of a human military force, as a number of humans have returned and erected a separate camp on the planet, with advanced weapons and forces that are beyond their comprehension.
And what more is to follow further here? :: Na’vi faces the humans in occasional ambushes, but understands that something bigger is coming, which Jake feels is near impossible to stop with their natural weapons. The guerilla campaign against the RDA supply lines does not seem to be work with that much of an efficiency, and almost has one of Jake’s sons killed in action. Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) returns after death as a Na’vi marine full of the memories of the dead colonel and seeks revenge with the support of a good number of similar Na’vi avatars created out of humans. They capture the children of Jake, who are freed except for Spider whom they take hostage. Even though he refuses to tell them anything about Jake even after torture, he helps Miles with the Na’vi culture and language, which Miles is quick to understand while deciding to care for the boy who is of his own blood in one way or the other. Jake who feels that Spider can lead the humans to their habitat, leaves for the far away islands where Metkayina reef people live in solidarity with the ocean and the creatures who live in the water. But would that keep them safe?
The defence of Avatar 2: The Way of Water :: Even though not as good as the first movie, there is still some fine visual beauty in store here too, especially in relation to the ocean and its alien creatures that make an impact. There is also the action that happens around, it is huge, even though there is the feeling of repetition that keeps happening at all times, making us feel that Marvel and DC can always do this better; even the visual splendour could be better achieved by them. The movie does choose family over everything else, which is a very good thing, even though not polished enough. As the predictability becomes more and more, the movie comes up with better visuals and some dialogues which seem to make up for it, even when we realize that there is not that much of an intellectual side behind it despite providing an early feeling of having it. As the scene does shift to the situation of fishermen who faces the people from outside, it reminds one of the protests called by the people of Vizhinjam near Trivandrum against an entity and similar fights by fishermen just like the tribal people against the multi-national corporations who form the new colonizers – well, the scientifically advanced and the rich always has the edge and can defeat the rest in one giant step.
The claws of flaw :: Avatar 2: The Way of Water is predictable from the early stages itself. It overdoes the family elements so much that one wonders if this will ever reach anywhere with the emotional side. The narrative remains weak, and the run-time is too much without enough content to support it except for the visuals, which are also not improvement from the first film which was ahead of its time with splendour on the big screen. Even among the visuals, there is not one moment that stands apart, and for the ocean and its beauty, there has been fantastic displays in films like Aquaman. This second movie often drags so much that one wonders if it is ever going to reach its final moments of fights. Focusing on alien family drama more than everything else hurts its capability to move forward towards the next movie in the franchise, especially when there are so many repetitive moments related to it. You just cannot talk about family so much that Fast and Furious franchise feels that it has not appreciated family enough; that would be too much to handle for anyone with some sanity left to see the irritating side.
How it finishes :: Being the second part of a movie that scored so well with the box-office as well as the critics required more – nowadays, even other industries can come up with films having big action sequences and grand events on the screen; this one could have been much more, and the second part of Avatar would get big collections, thanks to the fame of its predecessor. It has done well to be entertaining enough, but not by much. The movie franchise needs to remember that there is the requirement to raise the bar, or the third movie will struggle to keep the audience rushing to the theatres – after all, we can always have another corona virus pandemic too. Most of us have waited for too long for this movie, and what we receive is predictable stuff – not good news for any franchise, unless there are still addicted fans who wishes to keep going to Pandora without having a clear idea about how much such a world can provide. The endless opportunities of an alien world goes unnoticed here, and that is a side which requires further imagination. In this case, we know that science continues to be evil and destroy worlds as it has been doing for Earth.
Release date: 16th December 2022
Running time: 192 minutes
Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, Britain Dalton, Kate Winslet
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.