As I write these lines, avatar 2 is crowned as the third highest grossing film of history. This situation could change, I tell myself as I reflect on the media push that James Cameron gave the film during its long-awaited world premiere. Avatar: The Way of Water it is the resounding proof that things are not mere chance. And it is that the sequel to the film that burst into theaters in 2009 with wonderful reviews, took no more and no less than thirteen years to arrive and it did so with more than expectation, as happens with all blockbusters.
Let me jump ahead a bit. avatar 2 it is a visual delight, it is a seductive proposal of Deep X –the technology used to capture, process and render images underwater– that brings us closer to the vision of the acclaimed director on Pandora. It is also an aesthetic kaleidoscope of special effects with emotional contrasts that seek a coherent narrative between the first film and what is to come for this universe – which to date has screened three more films. To tell the truth, there is a lot in avatar 2 which justifies its position as the third highest grossing film worldwide. The figures prove it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film has grossed at least $2,243.3 billion worldwide. With this, the question is inevitable: Could it be that this was committed from the movie? Probably not. However, if something is clear to us, it is that Cameron knows how to give (and produce) a good story.
when the tape premiered on December 16, 2022the secrecy around him had led to showing only a few very select advances, without revealing much. Zoe Saldana He told us exclusively: ‘It’s a story that will move you.’ To this, more and more were added: a promising cast that brought back Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and added heavy names like that of Kate Winslet. When it finally hit theaters, the reception from fans and critics came with some reluctance. The reason? We’ll get there.
However, after several weeks of being among the first places, little by little he was claiming his place, or perhaps justifying his cost, the wait and the same promise of Cameron. Let’s go in parts. Among the most obvious questions is an inevitable comparison between the first and second films; would he manage to overcome the narrative? Avatar: The Way of Water recounts the continuation of Jake Sully in their integration into Na’vi and raising his family with neytiri. The tape presents an attractive plot that contemplates several new characters. Added to this equation was the director’s (incredibly latent) passion for the oceans, the debate on human action on marine species, the exploration of natural resources, the mistakes that humanity seems to keep making over and over again, and complex family ties.
On the other hand, when the use of technology was put on the table a decade ago, the question was also raised as to whether it was able to achieve Cameron’s vision. In avatar 2 that changes. The visual effects of the tape are splendid. They advance with a patient tuning during the 160 minutes that the film lasts. Fast scenes, a script that walks to the beat, sequences with well-calculated movements, unexpected and dramatic effects… So far, no one questions Cameron’s vision of the Pandora universe. When you get to the depth of the narrative, things could change.
Yes, one could understand how seductive the formula could seem: family ties, the pursuit of animal conservation, the point of view on war (and revenge)… ‘I know one thing: wherever we go, this family is our forte’, says Jake Sully in the first official trailer for the film. In this sequel, we meet the children of Jake Sully and Neytiri: Kiri, neteyam, lo’ak and tuktyrey, those who navigate the complexity of forging their own identity; we remember some characters –aka Colonel Miles Quaritch– and some new clans and narrative insights are introduced as the story behind the Kiri’s birth Cameron’s powerful imaginary has an official duration of almost three hours –with several extended versions– that manages to introduce the characters, perhaps, only in a first layer.
So the promise is in avatar 3 which has already been filmed. This sequel has shown us that we are still waiting for overwhelming stories. Don’t get me wrong, this movie has it. There are scenes that are an emotional catharsis: from the salvation of the tulkun –marine spiritual species– and even (alert of spoiler!) the death of one of Sully’s sons, the film has the history that stunned us years ago and perhaps we already need the next film bet to appreciate the complete puzzle. Could it be that Cameron is preparing us for (much) more? It’s possible. I went to see the tape three times, each time I had a different experience. For now, we will say that perhaps the task is to ask yourself: when will avatar 3?