Avatar: The Way of Water Review


3.30pm start time. I spent the whole morning carefully preparing for the mind-boggling, no pause button available, 192 minutes plus adverts plus trailers, cinematic experience. I stopped consuming liquids from 12pm just in  case. 

Next, I completed a risk assessment questionnaire on the NHS website in
relation to deep vein thrombosis. My score was reassuringly low, so off to my lovely local Everyman I went. 

Science-fiction and fantasy are not my genre of choice, but I loved the first Avatar’s visuals, and was looking forward to the sequel being equally picturesque. 

Aesthetically, it certainly delivered. Every law of physics-defying forest was as magical as the first time round. The creatures’ faces as mesmerising. Am I allowed to call them creatures, or does this make me alienist? 

The blue guys were now joined by the pale green water guys. Not straight away, mind you, the introduction and setting the scene took roughly an hour. 

‘The Way of Water’. There certainly was a lot of water. James Cameron’s fascination
with slow-sinking ships was strong with this one. Some third hour scenes looked lifted in their entirety from the third hour of Titanic, where random items kept sliding down at an angle and people scrambled up, being occasionally hit and crushed to death by heavy boxes and metal poles. 

Kate Winslet. A good chunk of the film’s generous running time was taken up
by me guessing which character she played, as none of the blue or gree creatures made me scream, OMG, that’s Kate Winslet! Her disguise was complete, the coquille St Jacques, which featured prominently on her
forehead, did not aid immediate recognition. 

I always wondered what actors got out from accepting roles which required them to look nothing like themselves. Watching flat-faced, giant-eyed, elf-eared Kate with loosely Māori style facial tattoo did not bring me closer to
resolving the issue. 

Other characters given alien makeover, especially the baddies, all vaguely
resembled a slew of square-jawed, thick-necked American actors, but I failed to
make a positive identification of any of them. 

Emotional moments, there were a few, but each one too predictable, too deeply ingrained in a depository of Hollywood cliches to deliver effective punches. The sheer length of time I spent rooting for the main guys meant that by the end of the story it did feel like I was a part of their blue-green
family, but by the time credit rolled, and I picked up my coat and scarf from the seat, their colours began to fade in my mind. 

The eco message, I am sure there was one, and I am sure it was profound, and sad, and we should all step back and treasure our beautiful planet much more than we do, but honestly, after 192 minutes, I could not be asked to think about that.

If you thought this review dragged on a bit, just think how the real thing
must have felt. 

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