As fans eagerly anticipate the long-awaited sequel, which is set to hit theatres later this month, critics who were privy to an early screening are absolutely loving it.
Comicbook’s Brandon Davis gave the film a thumbs up while labelling it a ‘visual feast’.
He wrote: “Avatar: The Way of Water, being more than 3 hours long, is both fulfilling and indulgent. It still ends wanting you to know a third is coming. Constantly a visual feast, creative plays with frame rate, and never boring despite. Overall, I liked it.”
CNN's Tom Page said the sequel had done the unthinkable in the movie industry by being better than the original.
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER: Yeah never bet against James Cameron. Trying to spare hyperbole, but I’ve never seen anything like this from a technical, visual standpoint. It’s overwhelming. Maybe too overwhelming. Sometimes I’d miss plot points because I’m staring at a Pandora fish— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) December 6, 2022
Never bet against @JimCameron. His #AvatarTheWayOfWater surpasses the original on every level. Incredible visuals, but a much more emotional connection to the characters and story. The final hour is Cameron flexing every muscle, reminding blockbuster filmmakers how it’s done. pic.twitter.com/C7lpBs6y5U— Sean O'Connell (@Sean_OConnell) December 6, 2022
#AvatarTheWayOfWater is “more is more” writ large. It’s more beautiful, more in awe of Pandora; more vocal in its environmentalism, more damning of humans. It’s an adrenaline shot to 3D filmmaking and an uncompromising doubling down. You’d expect nothing less from Cameron.— Tom Page (@thomas_page) December 6, 2022
Avatar: The Way of Water, being more than 3 hours long, is both fulfilling and indulgent. It still ends wanting you to know a third is coming.— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) December 6, 2022
Constantly a visual feast, creative plays with frame rate, and never boring despite. Overall, I liked it. pic.twitter.com/0Wxxc8ZC9L
He wrote: “#AvatarTheWayOfWater is ‘more is more’ writ large. It’s more beautiful, more in awe of Pandora; more vocal in its environmentalism, more damning of humans. It’s an adrenaline shot to 3D filmmaking and an uncompromising doubling down.
“You’d expect nothing less from Cameron.”
Collider's Perri Nemiroff called the flick ‘mind-blowing’ and noted it constantly feels ‘in service of the character and world building.'
According to Digital Spy, Avatar 2: The Way of Water will continue Jake Sully and Ney'tiri's story.
The two have now formed a family in Pandora, but when an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake finds himself fighting a conflicting war against the humans.
While fans have been waiting for the sequel for more than a decade, Cameron revealed in a recent interview that he’s already started working on the fourth (yes, fourth) Avatar movie.
The film is expected to hit screens in 2026, with a fifth flick arriving two years later.
He's already shot parts of Avatar 3 and has an idea of where he wants Avatar 6 and Avatar 7 to go.
However, Cameron may not direct the later Avatar films himself, as he shared with Empire he’s open to ‘passing the baton’.
The director admitted to the outlet that producing the films is ‘all-consuming’, meaning he may not have it in him to direct the franchise after the sequel.
He said: “I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting.
"I think eventually over time – I don’t know if that’s after three or after four – I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know.”
Big shoes to fill, for whichever director decides to take a swing at it.