Review – Avatar: The Way of Water

Posted in Action, Fantasy, Film Reviews, Film Reviews 2022, Genre, Scifi by - December 13, 2022
Review – Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way Of Water  (2022)
PG-13 ‧ Sci-fi/Action ‧ 3 Hours 12 Minutes

Written by James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver

Directed by ‎James Cameron


Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang


(In their own words) 

Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the extrasolar moon Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their home.

The BEST things about the film

  1. Imaginative.
  2. Visually stunning at times.
  3. Creative world building at a massive level.
  4. Probably the best 3D effects ever made yet. 
  5. Best motion capture ever made.
  6. I surprisingly ended up caring for more of the characters than I thought I would. 
  7. Pacing is decently quick.
  8. I haven’t been to Imax in a long time. I really liked the 3D – glasses. 


The WORST things about the Film

  1. It’s really, really long.
  2. Most of the time, the film is being shown at 48 frames per second. Which basically gives that soap opera effect to a film. It’s that over-smoothing effect you see on a television when someone has the refresh rate too high. It’s awful. It should be illegal. I hated every moment I could see it. It isn’t in the whole movie but it is a lot. It does help with 3D looking better. But if your film is relying on 3D to be good, it’s not a good film. I really would only look to watch a film in 3D as a novelty or as a second viewing if I have a choice. I don’t have a choice for this film. I don’t watch movies to see obvious special effects. I watch to see shot composition tell a story. 3D distracts from that. The 48 frames per second, just distracts from the entirety of the experience. 
  3. Story is super predictable.
  4. The dialogue is horrid at times, mediocre at its best.
  5. I’ve never been so thoroughly entertained and bored at the same time at this level. 
  6. Going to a movie, I prefer my characters three dimensional over the characters.
  7. There are no surprises about character, plot, or emotion.


Every film and every filmmaker makes a choice on what a movie should focus on. James Cameron clearly chose to focus Spectacle and action. If that is what you like to watch in a movie, you’ll probably like this. 

I have no doubt that most people will like this film. I’m just not one of those people. It is more of an experience. Bad film, good experience, maybe? Cause if you strip away all the special effects, it’s just a kind of boring, predictable story. Maybe it would be considered an imaginative book?

Sometimes people are worried about going into a 3 hour movie and don’t know if or when to use the bathroom because they don’t want to miss anything. In this film, go whenever you want. You won’t miss any of the plot. You’ll get it.  Honestly, After the first thirty minutes, you can probably predict everything that will happen in the next 30. Once the seeming ending starts, maybe stick around. The last hour is the most interesting. 

This movie plays like a 3 hour cut scene of a video game. 

If there was a mute button for the dialogue, you could press that, miss everything said, and still enjoy the movie the same if not better. I don’t think you’d miss much of the plot. Cameron is a visual storyteller, so he does a good job with telling a story visually. It’s just that his dialogue is crap and his story is mediocre and predictable. 


Family sticks together. 


Watchable. Yes. If you have time. SO LONG. 


Not one memorable line was spoken in the film.


Director James Cameron delivers a stunning visual feast that will make viewers salivate at the spectacle so much that they won’t take a bite and see how bland and hollow the food in front of them is. The most impressive part of this movie is that it is over three hours long but lacks one single memorable line of dialogue. The fact that you can predict almost every minor and major event that happens manages to make this one of the most entertaining films I’ve ever been bored watching.  If you like spectacle, you’ll see the film in the theater, because it doesn’t have much to offer without the 3D  effects.  Great Technical achievements,  good experience, mediocre film. 

My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It. 

Avatar: The Way Of Water is a mixed bag.
I Like It as an experience.
I Lose It as a film. 



This post was written by
When he’s not reviewing films or interviewing people for the Black & A Half podcast, Silas Lindenstein can be found in the greater metro Seattle, WA working as a real estate agent helping people buy and sell homes, or performing stand up comedy to fellow nerds. He has a wife and three children and desperately wants to learn to make the perfect homemade pizza.

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