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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 29, 2022



HE NEW ‘AVATAR’ movie is being shown in IMAX theaters simultaneously with the Metro-Manila filmfest entries.  

And local viewers are flocking to it, giving the filmfest entries tough competition!!!! 

The first ‘Avatar’ movie was shown in 2009 and became a mammoth hit earning $3 billion worldwide. 

Set in the 22nd century, it’s set in the moon called Pandora in the Alpha Centauri star system. 

Man has put up a mining colony there that is a menace to a local humanoid tribe called the Na’vi. They are 10 feet tall and has blue skin and they fight back to preserve their existence.

Jack Sully (Sam Worthington), a former Marine who lost his legs is used to become part of the Avatar program. 

He’s turned into a Na’vi-human hybrid who is meant to make friends with the Na’vis.  Jake meets Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) who rescues him from wild animals. 

Jake is supposed to be a spy but he eventually sides with the Na’vis and they succeed in driving away the humans. 

The movie ends with him staying for good with the Na’vis as his avatar. 

Now, after 13 years, Director James Cameron finally completes its sequel, “Avatar: the Way of Water”. 

It runs for more than 3 hours but is never boring. It helps that you remember what happened in the first “Avatar” for you to fully appreciate the sequel.

Jake has become chief of the Omaticaya clan and has two sons and one daughter with Neytiri.

They also have an adopted daughter and a human boy, Spider (Jack Champion), the son of Col. Miles Quaritch  (Stephen Lang, the blind man in “Don’t Breathe”) who was born on Pandora and was not able to be transported to Earth.  

The human colonizers return to Pandora because the Planet Earth is dying and put up a new base of operations, led by Quatrich and other Na’vi avatars who have the memories of dead marines. And so the battle between the Na’vis and the humans continues.

Quartich captures Jake’s kids but Jake and Neytiri get to rescue them. 

Spider is held captive by Quaritch, hoping to get Spider to side with him as his dad. 

Jake and family escape to Metkayina, whose people live on a reef and thrive on the sea and its water. 

They seek the help of its leaders Tonowari (Cliff Curtis) and Ronal (Kate Winslet, who worked with James Cameron before in “Titanic”) who agree to give them shelter even if they fear that the humans will get to follow Jake and his brood.

What they are afraid of happens and the film’s last hour is filled with exciting action sequences involving incredible set pieces, making this film a real game-changer. 

The colonizers get to Pandora with fire and brimstone, with the single purpose of killing Jack and his ilk.

The impressive underwater sequences and the thrilling battle scenes are superbly conceived and expertly executed. 

They truly immerse the audience in its spectacular visual and amazing technical accomplishments that can really increase your blood pressure with tension and excitement. 

The motion capture technique used is first rate as the Na’vi are more interesting and sympathetic than the humans in this film.

The first “Avatar” takes place mainly in the jungle, but this one takes the action across the seas and underwater, with the diving scenes with the whales and the tree of life so grand and bewitching. 

“Wakanda Forever” also has underwater scenes but James Cameron is more stunningly inventive here in his world building showing new creatures and environs. 

It is definitely the most imaginatively conceived and most awesomely achieved film of the year, defining what the word “cinematic” really stands for. We cannot wait for “Avatar 3” coming in 2024.