Avatar: The Way of Water has divided film critics, with some awarding the James Cameron sequel only one star, while others gave it five.
The next installment in the sci-fi adventure set on the mysterious planet of Pandora – starring Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington – has been called superficial and cliché by some, while others were mesmerized by the spectacular visual effects.
Robbie Collin of The Telegraph gave the film one out of five stars and helps watching the film “felt like being immersed in turquoise cement”.
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He called the dialogue cheesy, the meaningless plot “an extension of the franchise”, dismissed the celebration of nature using computer-generated imagery and said the film’s length would test the patience of the public.
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In contrast, Empire magazine’s Nick De Semlyen awarded the film five stars, celebrating it as “quirky, moving, joyous, dark and very, very blue”.
He said the film reminded viewers of what cinema is capable of and called director Cameron “a master and commander in making your jaw drop”.
But even he admitted that at over three hours the film may have been too long, dubbing it “The Way Of Wishing You Hadn’t Drunk That Water”.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw gave Avatar 2 two stars and his harsh comments called it “soggy”, “a trillion dollar screensaver” and he complained that the plot was “floating and bland” and that the images were uninteresting and clichéd.
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Others disputed the execution time.
Kevin Maher of The Times offered a two-star review and also took issue with its length. He said: “Pandora is a slightly confusing place to visit for a few hours, probably 90 minutes at best. There’s nothing here that warrants a nearly three and a quarter hour trip. In the end, it’s aggressively uninteresting.”
Brian Viner of The Daily Mail gave the film four stars, but said, “This sequel is hugely fun, even bigger and better than the original, but damn it will test your bladder.”
Danny Leigh of the Financial Times joked: “In over three hours, you’ll have time to quietly ponder geopolitics, as well as vacation plans, meeting times and recipe ideas.”
Charlotte O’Sullivan of the Evening Standard was positive overall, giving it four stars, but admitted: “Plot-wise this film treads water. But that’s fine, because the water is beautiful .”
Clarisse Loughrey of The Independent gave the film three stars and said the visual effects were so clear “it’s the humans here that look fake”, but she also found “there’s little heart in its story”.
Ian Sandwell of Digital Spy agreed that the film is a “visual masterpiece that’s often beautiful to behold, but doesn’t always have the substance to go with its considerable style”.
Owen Gleiberman of Variety called the film breathtaking and exhilarating, but concluded, “I’m sorry, but watching The Way of Water, the only part of me that was moved was my eyeballs.”
Metro’s Larushka Ivan-Zadeh gave the film three stars and called it “a superior version of those show reel display loops they use at stores like Currys to show how good TVs are.” .
David Ehrlich of IndieWire rated the film A- and called it “ravishing and awe-inspiring”.
And David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter hailed the film as “hugely entertaining” and “superb”, saying it “successfully marries technology with imagination” even better than the first film and praising “Cameron’s sincerity of belief.” ” in this fantasy world that makes it memorable. “.
Director Cameron, 68, first introduced audiences to the planet Pandora in the original Avatar film 13 years ago and has promised to explore different parts of its fantasy world in each subsequent sequel.
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Avatar 3 has already been filmed and is slated for release in 2024.
Avatar: Way of the Water hits theaters and IMAX on December 16.