7 December 2022

“Emotional, visceral and as big as movies get”: Critics rave over ‘Avatar 2’ in first reviews

The long-awaited sequel was unveiled to members of the media yesterday after a gruelling 13-year wait.

Avatar: The Way of Water was finally unveiled to some members of the media on Tuesday as the film premiered in London.

The film comes 13 years after James Cameron’s original groundbreaking epic and if the first reviews are anything to go by, fans will undoubtedly feel it was worth the wait.

IndieWire’s Chief Film Critic David Ehrlich wrote on Twitter: “lol imagine being dumb enough to bet against James Cameron. or teen alien Sigourney Weaver. or giant whales subtitled in papyrus. Light years better than the first & easily one of the best theatrical experiences in ages. Streaming found dead in a ditch.”

Happy Sad Confused host Josh Horowitz wrote: “James Cameron once again shows filmmakers how it’s done. I’ve said it a thousand times. Never doubt him. Avatar: The Way of Water is how you do epic blockbuster-ing. Emotional, visceral, and as big as movies get.”

Uproxx writer Mike Ryan raved: “Yeah, never bet against James Cameron. Trying to spare hyperbole, but I’ve never seen anything like this from a technical, visual standpoint. It’s overwhelming. Maybe too overwhelming. Sometimes I’d miss plot points because I’m staring at a Pandora fish.”

“I had faith James Cameron would raise the bar with the effects, but these visuals are mind-blowing,” Collider’s Peri Nemiroff added. “One stunning frame after the next.”

However, there was one outlier who was a little more difficult to impress – Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian. Going against the grain, Bradshaw tweeted: “Avatar: The Way Of Water is a silly, soggy, motion-smoothed epic of solemnity without a single interesting visual image.”

The first wave of feedback comes a few days after Oscar-winning director Guillermo Del Toro delivered the film’s first review. The Spanish filmmaker described Avatar: The Way of Water as a “staggering achievement” after seeing it last month. “It is chockfull of majestic Vistas and emotions at an epic, epic scale,” he tweeted, calling Cameron “a master at the peak of his powers.”

The film is reported to be one of the three most expensive films of all time and clocks in a runtime of three hours and 10 minutes. It will tell the story of the Sully family, ranging from “the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive and the tragedies they endure.”

The Way of Water will be released in cinemas on December 16th.


  • Writer Chris Saunders
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