January 27, 2023 - I see you . . . not reading a new review this week.
Avatar: The Way of Water
Who the fuck ever would've thought that mashing up Dances with Wolves and Cat People would become a multi-billion dollar film franchise? Given that folks love fads - witness the Pet Rock, phone booth stuffing, and CrossFit - to a shitdiculous degree, I suppose it shouldn't be that surprising. Still, I just can't get my head around the success of Dances with Space Cats 2: Water World Boogaloo . . . I mean, Avatar: The Way of Water.
Let's clear-cut to the chase. If you liked 2009's Avatar, you're gonna like its 2022 sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. Contrariwise, if you couldn't stand the original, you're going to hate the absolute ass out of the new one.
That's because Avatar: The Way of Water is the perfect example of the Sequel Rule. It's the original movie done again but with dramatically diminished returns. Same protagonists. Same antagonist (even though he died in the first one). Same theme of "indigenous people good; imperialist white people bad." And maybe most surprising of all after a 13-year wait, same quality of CGI and 3D. Seriously, the new one doesn't look any better than the first one. How's that even possible?
Former wheelchair-bound military dude, Jake Sully (Sam "Not" Worthington), now lives fulltime on Pandora in his avatar of the native people known as the Na'vi. His significant other, Neytiri (Zoe "Don't Know Better" Saldana), and he have a bunch of kids: biological, adopted, and unexplainable. When the military industrial complex downloads dead baddie Quaritch's (Stephen "Jessica" Lang) consciousness into an avatar of its own, he sets off to hunt down Jake, forcing Jake to flee the forest with his family and seek shelter among the seashells of a tribe of island-dwelling Na'vi.
To ramp up the evilness of the invaders, Avatar: The Way of Water replaces mining for Unobtanium with space whaling. But when the head space whaler explains how much money they get per whale, it's a stupid tiny amount relative to the costs of traveling from Earth to Pandora. Just as fucking idiotic is the idea that there's any profit to be made in letting reanimated Quaritch spend tons of money and resources on a revenge mission to kill one guy.
None of which matters, because everyone's already seen this one and can't wait for the next one, so fuck me, right?
January 20, 2023
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