If you follow us here at Korked Bats and also keep up with The CineBoiz Podcast, you know we laid some hard prediction-game last week. Now here we are, one week later, and we get to see if our nostradamus-ing paid off…
I mean, what do you want me to say? Was I right or was I right? ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ is well on it’s way to crushing some box office records. And deservedly so. It’s the best looking film I’ve ever seen. That may seem like hyperbole but I promise you it’s not. Like every other review you will probably read on this world wide web, its astonishing how stunning this film looked in 3-D. Not to mention the fact that the CGI rendering of these characters has taken a MASSIVE step forward since 2009. There is a noticeable difference in how un-noticeable the rendering is. Of course, it’s not perfect, but the special effects this time around made ‘Avatar’ (2009) look like a film-student attempting to remake a Rankin/Bass Claymation movie.
The problem? It’s pretty much the same gripe I had with the original. A mediocre story and atrocious dialogue. I just felt no connection to these characters. Old or new. Not to mention, James Cameron’s ability to write dialogue is stuck in 1991. The banter is simply a re-hash of having Eddie Furlong teach Arnold Schwarzenegger to say ‘Hasta la vista, baby’. Jim had magic in a bottle and he won’t let us forget it.
Despite the dialogue, James Cameron is able to tell his story well enough to keep you interested for three hours. It doesn’t ever feel slow or terribly paced. This is mostly due to the fact that the actors deliver solid performances. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are great once again. Stephen Lang knows this role is his Hamlet…he milks it for everything it’s got. Newcomers Jack Champion and Kate Winslet are welcome additions to an already solid cast. The only scratch on the chalkboard here seems to be Sigourney Weaver. While she does reprise her original role in flashbacks, she mainly voices the character of her Na’vi daughter Kiri. As much as we love Weaver, her voice does not fit that of a teenage girl. It just feels tremendously off-balance.
When it’s all said and done, should you see this movie? Yes. Absolutely yes. Don’t think just do. This will not be the same movie four months down the road streaming on Disney+. What will blow your mind in theaters wont have the same effect at home simply because it’s not a story that will stand the test of time. It is a revolutionary achievement in special effects (more-so than even ‘Avatar’ was in 2009). It’s meant to be seen on a big screen…in 3D…possibly in IMAX. It’s not a “re-watch with the family once a year” type of film, nor was the first, but I will GLADLY keep paying money to see these movies every few years if Cameron can keep delivering on the goods.
Verdict: 3.5/5 Stars
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