James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water is clobbering the box office, and with good reason: it’s an absolute blast from start to finish, full of emotion, drama, and rip-roaring action. I honestly had no idea what to expect from the sequel, but now I cannot wait to see what the King of the World comes up with for his third, fourth, and fifth adventures on Pandora — which is crazy.
Anyway, having enjoyed several trips already to theaters of The Way of Water (with more to come), I wanted to kick off a discussion detailing the film’s best moments. I’ve listed my favorite six moments below, but I’d like to see which parts of this 3+ hour epic were your favorites as well.
Avatar: The Way of Water delivers some truly breathtaking action sequences. From the thrilling train attack to the climactic third act, Cameron continually ratchets the violence without losing sight of the characters or story.
We get a taste of the action via an early gun battle set near the link shack where Jack, Neytiri, and Quaritch fought at the end of the original film. During the bit, Quaritch (resurrected as a Na’vi) uses Jake’s children as bait to draw him out, resulting in a fierce, rain-drenched firefight that looks astounding (especially in 3D). The fierce battle sets up the conflict between the Sullys and Quaritch’s team, serves as the catalyst that moves our heroes away from the forest and to the water, and separates Spider from his friends so that he can bond with Quaritch. Great stuff!
There’s a bit in The Way of Water in which Jake’s son, Lo’ak, befriends a tulkun space whale named Payakan. The pair swim together, leap in the air, and communicate via sign language … at one point, the whale thingy even unfolds its flipper and holds hands with Lo’ak.
Writing that makes me realize how insane this plot point is, but somehow Cameron makes it all work. Yeah, it’s a tad cheesy, but thanks to powerful visuals, strong acting, an enchanting score, and crisp direction, we buy this sea-faring storyline right down to the moment Payakan leaps from the water to save his buddy from cruel humans — an incredible payoff in a film chock full of crowd-pleasing moments.