Avatar: The Way of Water – the new aliens, daddy issues and Cameron’s message – discuss with spoilers

Avatar: The Way of Water – the new aliens, daddy issues and Cameron’s message – discuss with spoilers

As we take a deeper dive into Pandora’s depths will this turn out to be The Empire Strikes Back of the seven-film saga?

  • This article contains spoilers for Avatar: The Way of Water
What pearls of wisdom can we bring to the surface? … Avatar: The Way of Water.
What pearls of wisdom can we bring to the surface? … Avatar: The Way of Water. Photograph: 20th Century Studios/AP
Avatar is back, and the jury’s still out on whether sequel The Way of Water is going to make quite the splash its predecessor did. James Cameron’s 3D space fantasy spectacular has opened to a staggering $441m (£362m) across the globe, but its US bow of an estimated $134m (£110m) is down on expectations, if only just. If the first movie, the highest-grossing film of all time, was Dances with Wolves in space (with a side-order of FernGully: The Last Rainforest), then part two is a family affair, with Cameron digging into his experiences as a father to imagine what battling to save your planet from evil humans would be like if you had a bunch of giant blue space elf sprogs in tow, constantly putting themselves in harm’s way.

This is only the second Avatar movie in a proposed seven-film saga that the 68-year-old film-maker admits may well be completed after his death. Does it do enough to keep us all interested? Is the 3D as mind-boggling as it was the first time around? And does the decision to bring back Stephen Lang as a new, all-blue avatar version of big meanie Colonel Quaritch (who we all thought was dead) pay off? What do we think of Cameron’s shift from the forests of Pandora to its breathtaking oceans?

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