Like many people, I didn’t know what to expect going into AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Its precursor is only discussed in the context of “how did it do so well” or it has a POCAHONTAS plot and forgettable characters. But THE WAY OF WATER improves slightly on those qualities but adds so much more.

For three and a half hours, I was fully immersed in the world James Cameron had created. It didn’t matter when characters were a bit bland, or the story seemed to be rambling, or how often the word “bro” was used. I can’t understate how stunning the visuals are and how beautiful the movie looked.

On top of that, the flora and fauna of Pandora (or Eywa, if you want to avoid using the Sky Peoples’ name) is more fleshed out than ever before. I could watch hours and hours of just exploring the planet (and it seems like Cameron understands that).

I was reminded more of Pokémon, the HORIZON video game series, and THE INCREDIBLES watching this movie when I was expecting STAR WARS or the MCU – and that’s oddly refreshing. The light plot, intense world-building, focus on visuals, and absolute immersion made this movie feel like a video game, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER is now playing in theaters. I watched it in IMAX 3D.

Tarush Mohanti

Tarush Mohant is a playlist curator and music explorer, the creator of illussongs (illustrations of songs), and has a fitness plan motivated by action movies (running, climbing, swimming, hiking).

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