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Wyatt Thompson
Wyatt Thompson

Avatar 2: The War Of Water

To set the scene for this climactic battle, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), along with his beloved Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), and the entire Metkayina Clan are mounted on their sea beasts and staring down the technological might of the human whaling forces, all while the typically spotless skies are having storm clouds roll in. Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) and his band of resurrected avatar mercenaries are holding several of the Sully children hostage on a ship, and the vengeful military leader says he'll set the children free if Jake surrenders.

Avatar 2: The War Of Water

To protect his family from Quaritch, Jake decides that the Sullys should escape and hide among a different tribe. Their escape would also protect the rest of their tribe since they are the primary target for Quaritch. So, the Sullys take shelter in the Metkayina clan, also known as the Reef People. There, they must learn the way of water and forge a new home.

Family bliss is fractured when the 'sky people' return, including an avatar Na'vi version of one Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who has come to finish what he started, including vengeance on Jake for the death of his human form. He comes back with a group of former-human-now-Na'vi soldiers who are the film's main antagonists, but not the only ones. "Avatar: The Way of Water" once again casts the military, planet-destroying humans of this universe as its truest villains, but the villains' motives are sometimes a bit hazy. Around halfway through, I realized it's not very clear why Quaritch is so intent on hunting Jake and his family, other than the plot needs it, and Lang is good at playing mad.

It takes place 15 years after the original, and there's lots to digest, since this movie flings plenty of terminology and events at you in its three-hour-and-17-minute runtime (and no, it doesn't have a post-credits scene). Let's dive into the Avatar sequel's beautiful blue SPOILER waters.

The late RDA scientist Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) acted as bridge between the humans and Na'vi, in addition to spearheading the avatar project that allowed Sully to become one of the blue aliens. We discover that her avatar was pregnant when she died, and gave birth to Kiri (also Sigourney Weaver, who's amazingly convincing as a teenager). She was adopted by Sully and Neytiri, is a teenager by the time of the sequel and has some kind of special connection with Na'vi deity Eywa.

This leaves Sully and Quatrich to have an intense one-on-one confrontation as the ship sinks (it even rears up like the Titanic). Kiri and Spider manage to flee into the water, while Neytiri and Tuk try to escape through the bowels of the vessel before finding themselves trapped.

It's a close call, but Sully manages to defeat Quatrich in their nasty underwater fight and leaves him for dead. Sully escapes with the help of Lo'ak and the breathing technique he learned with Metkayina, with tulkun pal Payakan joining for the final stretch.

This clan makes use of its extensive and diverse habitat in many ways and has a close relationship with water. Just as clans such as the Omatikaya and Olangi ride direhorses to trek the landmasses of Pandora, the Metkayina use ilu as their companion of choice for gliding across the Pandoran oceans.

The Metkayina live along the shores of the Pandoran oceans, on islands or near the mainland.[2] Their homes are marui pods which are built into the roots of mangrove-like trees spanning the islands.[3] These homes hang directly above the water presumably for easy access for swimming. Massive seawall terraces, similar in appearance to travertine terraces, guard the villages from strong waves and provide an easy place for the clan to fish. Some of the Metkayina villages have existed for thousands of years. Structures are constantly renewed but seldom replaced. The main village of Awa'atlu has small docks for canoes, a centralized ilu pen and communal areas for gathering, eating and the telling of tales and singing of songs.

The islands of the Metkayina and the waters surrounding them are home to many unique specimens of fauna and flora, such as the dorado verde, pincer fish, and papa mantis tree. The Cove of the Ancestors is an area sacred to the Metkayina and houses their primary sacred site, the Spirit Tree.

Various machines and vehicles explode, sometimes killing or injuring others in the process. People might fly up and out of said vehicles, surely pulled by gravity to their dooms. (One man is thrown from a boat and has his arm severed for good measure: We see both fly.) A number of people drown or nearly drown, and at least one man is crushed by what appears to be a gigantic anemone. Someone has what appears to be an epileptic seizure underwater and nearly dies.

Parents need to know that Avatar: The Way of Water is the long-awaited sequel to James Cameron's epic 2009 mega-hit Avatar. The sequel returns to Pandora 15 years after Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) rallied the indigenous Na'vi clans against the corrupt "Sky People" (colonizing humans trying to mine and extract Pandora's resources). Jake and his mate, Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), now have four children and decide to save their forest clan by seeking refuge for their family among the island dwelling Metkayina clan. Filmed mostly underwater, the three-hour-plus film is visually striking. And, like the first movie, it has sci-fi action violence, with weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and the hunting of a sacred whale-like creature. The story also features adolescent flirting, hand-holding, and crushes, as well as marital affection. Occasional strong language includes many uses of "s--t," "bitch," and "ass," as well as one "f--k." Like the first movie, this one has a strong anti-imperialist message, plus environmental and multicultural themes that stress the importance of tolerance, acceptance, and honest communication.

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER is set approximately 15 years after the events of the original Avatar. In the forests of Pandora, Jake (Sam Worthington) and his mate, Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), are now parents to two teen sons, Neteyam (Jamie Flatters) and Lo'ak (Britain Dalton), as well as a young girl named Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss), and Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), the teen daughter they adopted after she was born under mysterious circumstances. Jake has helped the Na'vi fight against the Sky People (humans trying to mine and extract Pandora's resources), but the onslaught of the humans' military operations ramps up when they launch a new mission: sending a select group of avatars with the uploaded consciousness and memories of the long-dead Col. Quaritch (Stephen Lang) and his loyal soldiers. Quaritch and his Na'vi-fied squad terrorize Jake and Neytiri's Omaticaya clan until Jake convinces Neytiri that their immediate family should leave and seek refuge with the far-off island dwelling Metkayina clan, who are a different shade of blue and boast fin-like tails and flipper-like hands. Their leader, Tonowari (Cliff Curtis), and his spiritual leader mate, Ronal (Kate Winslet), tentatively grant Jake and Neytiri's family sanctuary, but eventually Quaritch tracks them down and brings the war of the Sky People to the water clans.

James Cameron's crowd-pleasing sequel is a spectacular technical achievement that, while overlong, manages to dazzle the senses enough to prove that the director is still a visionary. Avatar: The Way of Water isn't a movie you see for its layered, complicated plot. The storyline is simple, and the dialogue is mostly expository or cliché, particularly when Quaritch talks. But it doesn't quite matter, because Cameron puts the movie's $350 million budget to remarkable use in all of the underwater sequences, the incredible creature effects, and the overall immersive return to Pandora. It's worth seeing on the biggest screen possible, in 3D if you can. Yes, the three-hour-plus runtime is long, but it's easy to get lost in the movie's memorable world-building. The motion-capture performances are fascinating to behold, and Winslet and Curtis are welcome additions to the cast. Of the young actors, Dalton stands out as Neytiri and Jake's troublemaking younger son, Lo'ak, who befriends an outcast tulkun (the sacred alien whales). Also worth noting is Jack Champion as Spider, the human boy raised among the Na'vi but whose mask marks him as different. His bond with Kiri, who's also a little bit different, seems headed toward romance, but it's too early to tell (not to mention complicated).

Just when things are starting to look desperate for Neytiri and Tuk, the water around them becomes illuminated and Kiri appears. She has a pair of wings with her that allow prolonged underwater breathing, which she gives to Neytiri, and then leads her and Tuk out of the sinking ship. Lo'ak coaches Jake to help him hold his breath underwater and leads him out of the boat wreckage. Payakan is waiting outside and helps them out of the water, and the family is reunited.

Meanwhile, Spider drags Quaritch out of the water and he offers to take Spider with him. Spide refuses, and Quaritch flies away on an Ikran. Spider reunites with the Sullys. Neteyam gets a sea burial at the village. The Sullys plan to move on elsewhere. Jake and Neytiri connect to the Metkayina's Spirit Tree and see visions of Neteyam, both in flashbacks to his childhood and now. Jake vows to stop running and take a stand against the RDA to protect his family.

The Sully family gives Neteyam a sea burial in the Metkayina tradition. His body is sent to the bottom of the ocean where it's absorbed into a seabed of anemones. As Tsireya says earlier in the movie, "the way of water has no beginning and no end," and Neteyam's water burial sees him become one with the energy of Pandora. 041b061a72


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