Review: The new Avatar has a predictable plot, an embarrassing script and is way too long

“The script writers shouldn’t be fired. They should be shot”

James Cameron has ruined what was a great first movie© Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f

Daragh KeanySunday World

I wanted so desperately to like this for so many reasons but all it ends up being is a steaming pile of soporific notions and teenage clichés that drags on for three hours and twelve minutes.

I wanted to like it because I loved the first instalment. I wanted to love it because I knew the high-brow critics of the movie review world would definitely hate it.

I wanted it to be so good because I would like nothing more than to sit here typing up a glowing report aimed at its target market for a movie that will inevitably irk so many others in the game.

But I just can’t.

I can’t even stretch to tell you that teenage boys will adore this because I’m not even sure they will.

Halfway through I was convinced that was who would enjoy it, but by the time the credits rolled 192 minutes later I realised that I think Avatar: The Way of Water will have lost their interest.

In the age of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube shorts attention spans only last minutes, so there is no way they will stick it to the end.

Anyone who loved the first movie always had a niggling thought about whether or not the love affair was based predominantly on the novelty factor of the Na’vi people in a world known as Pandora. I actually found myself overly defensive about the 2009 movie and I was more than willing to give this second movie a shot.

The war in this movie takes place in the sea

But now I am here pleading with you to not bother. The US critics have currently scored it as 84 percent on RottenTomatoes. Take my word for it. They have completely lost the run of themselves.

If, and it’s a giant big blue IF, you do feel the urge to go and watch it then choose the 3D version which will offer some semblance of reward thanks to the amazing graphics and special effects. To be fair, they are amazing.

But that is where the positives stop. There is no plot and what is there is so embarrassingly predictable at times that it was met with laughter.

Ironically, the bits where the pompous director wanted us to laugh all fell flat. There are some ‘comedic’ characters sporadically lobbed in to add potential levity to the emotional events that are happening to the poor Na’vi people.

The Aussie hunter and his team are supposed to bring most of these laughs and…well…they don’t. His side kick played by Flight of the Conchords Jemaine Clement is as equally unfunny as his boss.

An angry ninja smurf in the latest Avatar movie

The script writers shouldn’t be fired. They should be shot. It is completely cringeworthy. What wowed us in the first movie hasn’t transferred to this sequel at all. Any emotion we felt towards the lanky skinny blue aliens in the 2009 movie is completely gone.

The acting isn’t that bad actually, to be fair. All of the leads put in great performances. But it is so hard to focus on in a movie that moves too fast.

And so on to the plot line…I am the one who suffered through it. You didn’t. But I am sure you can guess what happens.

Here is my best attempt: Angry Earthlings try to settle a score with tribes of ninja smurf warriors on a faraway planet by becoming ninja smurfs themselves before the original smurfs move to an island where the local smurfs can swim and therefore take the war to the water where friendly alien whales live. You still with me?

Weirdly, despite its insane running time, some of the plot lines actually move too quickly. It jumps on a few occasions without explanation so I can only imagine there is even more on the edit room floor.

This was director James Cameron’s passion project; a man widely known for his giant ego. Somehow, he managed to convince the movie company to green light (or should that be blue?) this monstrosity years ago. But it should never have been made.

James Cameron has ruined what was a great first movie© Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f

I counted five journalists leaving before the end of the movie and I am pretty sure there wasn’t a conflicting movie preview that they needed to get to. I’ll admit I was jealous as I would have left if I didn’t need to review it.

If it was any other movie I’d be disgusted. But I was only jealous of the scarpering hacks clinging onto their winter coats.

I hung on in there to the bitter end and was shocked to see a minor plot twist towards the three-hour mark that signalled there is going to be another Avatar made.

So, I instantly Googled it afterwards. Set your face to stun…there are three more coming in 2024, 2026 and 2028.

If I was offered a world exclusive with James Cameron or Sam Worthington or Kate Winslet on the sole condition that I had to watch the third movie beforehand I would kindly decline.

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