“Avatar: The Way of Water” Is Split by James Cameron’s Contradictory Instinct

 Thirteen years after “Avatar,” we have a sequel. The director, as before, is James Cameron, who has promised (or threatened) further installments. 

The new film is subtitled “The Way of Water,” which sounds like the memoir of a celebrity urologist.

Once again, the center of operations is a moon called Pandora, whose inhabitants, the Na’vi, have azure skin, luminescent freckles, and magic ponytails that they plug into plants and animals.

They are at one with nature and at sixes and sevens with encroaching humans, most of whom are nasty, brutish, and so short that they barely come up to the Na’vi’s navels.

The hero of the first movie was a mortal man, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who went rogue, native, and nuts for a Na’vi named Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña). 

The split is all too visible in the look, and in the structure, of Cameron’s latest film.

James Cameron's science fiction epic Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time. But it took 13 years to get a sequel into theaters.