The Way of Water IMAX Review

Jan 3, 2023

Nick Clement brings us his Avatar The Way of Water IMAX review.

Jake Sully and Ney’tiri have formed a family and are doing everything to stay together. However, they must leave their home and explore the regions of Pandora. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a difficult war against the humans.
There are some absolutely COLOSSAL action sequences in this film, especially during the final hour. Leave it to the powerhouse that is James Cameron to consistently up the cinematic ante in this regard – there’s stuff here that only Cameron would attempt to pull off, digitally or not.
Overall, this series of movies just aren’t “for me,” as I’m not really invested on an emotional level, and therefore, I’m essentially watching it all unfold from a distance. I’m here to see the Cameron spectacle and the Intense Stephen Lang alongside the astonishing Russell Carpenter and on that front, this film more than delivers.
I couldn’t figure out what’s real, what’s not real, what’s partially real, and what’s perhaps a figment of my OWN imagination while watching The Way of Water. It’s pretty obvious that nearly every shot has some sort of CGI element going on within it, and while videogame filmmaking isn’t really my cup of tea, you can’t help but be impressed with this project on a production and scale level. It’s enormous, and Cameron and his team make it all look so easy. They made the first movie feel small – which is no small feat in and of itself.

The high frame rate presentation was startling to witness and I didn’t know that was part of the delivery package. I’d never seen a movie projected in high frame rate, and while I’d never want to see a traditional, live-action movie done in this format, it was a completely mindblowing experience seeing action unfold in a higher frame rate (48FPS?) on an IMAX screen in tandem with all of this extremely sophisticated CGI.
I much prefer to see the gloss of cinema giving me that definitive separation between the movie world and the real world, but as a one-time event, the high frame rate was pretty wild. It’s as if the characters are standing directly in front of you in the theater, with the universe’s thinnest piece of glass as the only barrier. The brightness of color was superb and the immersive sound was truly something else all together.
I found there to be nothing surprising on a story level, and I pretty much predicted the entire narrative in my head while it played out. Owen actually corrected me on one plot item, which was cool; he had a blast all throughout, with numerous “that’s so cool!” whispers during the screening.
Nobody does world-building like Cameron, and very few action filmmakers share his sense of classicism when it comes to putting together a logistically complicated set-piece. There were some Holy S**T moments sprinkled-in during the final action beats which were spectacular to see on a massive screen.

The running time was unnecessarily long, and really needed to be shaved by 30-40 minutes. It plays like an extended director’s cut. Nobody was going to be giving THE KING OF THE WORLD any “notes” (lol), but in my estimation, he’d have had a more impactful film and it would have probably made more money in America had it been shorter.
But as a whole, has Avatar The Way of Water revived 3D movies on the big screen? We discuss HERE
Avatar The Way of Water IMAX review by Nick Clement

Our Rating

Take nothing away from the grand spectacle of this Cameron powerhouse but there’s tons of filler and padded detours and for a majority of the movie, it’s just not needed.
I’m sort of sad that we’ve lost Cameron to the Pandora and CGI abyss, but he breaks records and reinvents the wheel each time he makes a movie, so he’s more than earned the right to do whatever he wants with the rest of his filmmaking life.

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