Spoilers Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) - Full Spoiler & Review Thread

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kai "the spy", Dec 16, 2022.

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How would you rate this movie?

  1. 10 out of 10 - Mighty.

    11 vote(s)
    23.9%
  2. 9 out of 10 - This movie connects all things. Before your birth, and after your death.

    11 vote(s)
    23.9%
  3. 8 out of 10 - Strong Heart.

    13 vote(s)
    28.3%
  4. 7 out of 10 - Wherever we go, this movie is our fortress.

    4 vote(s)
    8.7%
  5. 6 out of 10 - This is where we make our stand.

    2 vote(s)
    4.3%
  6. 5 out of 10 - That's all you take, you just waste the rest?

    1 vote(s)
    2.2%
  7. 4 out of 10 - I took you under my wing. You betrayed me.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. 3 out of 10 - Outcast. That's all I see.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. 2 out of 10 - That's why I drink.

    1 vote(s)
    2.2%
  10. 1 out of 10 - I cannot allow you to bring your movie here.

    3 vote(s)
    6.5%
  1. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    So...
    Kiri is teaching Mo'at about medicine.
    She befriended an Ikran and an Ilu by just inviting them.
    Spider and perhaps her (other) siblings regularly see her moving grasses and summoning woodsprites.
    Ronal saw her directing a school of bioluminescent things in the water, and expressed curiosity in it as tsahik.
    Ao'nung and Rotxo (?) see her hooking the spirit tree and telling it to trap a sub with its branches, and then trap its divers.
    Neytiri with Tuk got saved by Kiri summoning a trail of life and should have an idea about her daughter is up to, but she might still not be.

    But Jake. Jake – the only person she has trusted enough to tell – thinks she has epilepsy, which she is possible to still have, and has hallucinations and delusions because of it, and has already probably forbidden her to go to the spirit tree.

    Outstanding. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
  2. Reverend

    Reverend Admiral Admiral

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    Jake has always been a straight line thinker, so yeah if your kid tells you they're hearing, seeing, and feeling things that aren't there, and then has to what all outside appearances seems like a censure AND the scientist who specialises in the Na'vi that just gave her a brain scan says she's showing textbook symptoms of epilepsy . . . what else is he supposed to think?
    As for the rest, I don't think he's ever personally witnessed any of the more blatantly . . . I don't want to say "supernatural", so lets just call them "unusual phenomena".
     
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Do you know what puzzled me from a military point of view in this film and in the first one? The total absence of drones. I mean, they are a major part of the conflict in Ukraine NOW, let alone what they might become centuries from now. I guess the reason from a narrative point of view is to make the conflict between the protagonists and the antagonists more dramatic and personal, but it doesn't make much sense. I wish they had said something about it, like "Ah unfortunately the planet's radiation makes it impossible to use drones" but never mind!

    P.S. I liked the movie and I preferred it to the first one!
     
  4. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    We do know there are magnetic fields in many areas around the moon that disrupt communications and instruments, so that’s probably a good handwave for the lack of automated and remote-controlled vehicles.
     
  5. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the prequel comic they have drones that look like dogs that chase Sully’s family. They were damaged during that chase.
     
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  6. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Avatars are drones, even if biological. Worked at long distance and in magnetic fields with no issues. The mining equipment were also drones, operated from Hell's Gate, no people on-board. Only their escorts had pilots.

    I suppose they get whatever hardware Earth sends them. They can't make their own drones, even if they think it's more appropriate, and can't secure them on short notice even if they do request such. The human pilot, even with the cryo bed for transport, probably doesn't cost much more than the AMP suit or helicopter, not to mention they still need to be there for the decision-making. And putting them away from the vehicle would encourage them to destroy it, whereas if they were themselves in danger they'd have incentive to protect it.

    It happened with Jake. Had he lost his avatar on day 1, like he almost did, it would have been a significant loss, and he'd be as good as dead. They didn't care if a pilot, like Tommy, died, as long as that didn't affect the use of the avatar. For all we know, someone in RDA could have ordered a hit on Tommy to get a marine on the mission.

    Here they have even less remote control and automation in the field then they did in the first film, and full automation on base. Even avatars have been replaced with an actual person. Admittedly, the real reason for that is just to bring Stephen Lang back, as it wouldn't have made any economical sense to clone a dead human, but growing a native body makes sense, and in-universe they evidently thought they were better served with less remote-controlled things.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2022
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  7. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But pilots, especially when you're light years from Earth, aren't easily replaced. And seeing how quickly the natives shoot down helicopters, I wonder why they still send them into battle. With the cost and materials of a helicopter you could probably send a swarm of a thousand explosive drones (considering that it is clearly seen in a scene from the second film that the helicopters are "printed" by a super-technological 3d printer, so I suppose they could easily print killer drones).

    Dramatically, why they did it is clear: they wanted to remind viewers of similar images from the Vietnam War with Bell UH-1 helicopters raiding Vietnamese villages. It just doesn't make sense in the 21st century. In fact the Russians, after losing quite a few helicopters in Ukraine, are bombing civilians with much cheaper drones.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2022
  8. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At least in the time of the first film, I don't think offensive battles and wars were openly intended, possibly even a decade later for the second such weren't easy to be sold for approval back on Earth. It was all there for providing defensive capability for Hell's Gate, and now, on paper, for Bridgehead City. That seemed to work pretty well, despite the warnings for the new comers to stay outside as little as possible. Everyone inside seemed to feel safe, despite the helicopters constantly buzzing about. Only place it didn't was defensive capability for the remotely-controlled bulldozers, and clearly worse for the train.

    Even during the offensive battle on Hometree, which was more of a slaughter than a battle, the RDA forces were unbeatable. The Na'vi were only able to kill pilots and down aircraft by increasing their numbers fifteen-fold, being prepared and ambushing the forces, and still losing after downing a few aircraft, only to be saved by Eywa's deus ex machina. The humans with what they get were already more or less an unstoppable force that seemed to suffer some loses, unless it had all wildlife pointed to it.

    Or one huge tulkun, some sabotage from the inside by Spider, misuse of hunting vehicles piloted by an arrogant fool who underestimates the enemy, and sheer bad luck stacked on top of it.

    That's hardly inefficient. I don't see them needing further improvements in what they have in terms of hardware, whether it is by drones or otherwise, they have a massive advantage there either way. They may need to start acting smarter, and stop underestimating their adversary.

    Also they are still underestimating the super-intelligence of the planet and/or its wildlife, too, which may be how they lose the next time around.
     
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  9. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Yo, Dawg! I Heard You Like Avatars... In Memoriam

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    In a dying world full of twenty billion people fighting over dwindling resources, heavy automation means fewer jobs available, means more people getting sick, starving, turning to crime in desperation, perhaps even revolting against and sabotaging the companies that eliminated their jobs in favor of automation.

    Now along comes the RDA offering settlement on a new world, a steady income, the possibility of improving your lot in life, and the need for lots of settlers, growing with each sortie, to establish a beachhead on Pandora and begin to relieve the population stress on Earth. They don't want drones, they want jobs for as many people as they can get, with the caveat that they are as expendable as drones are to the company. I mean, in two decades, they didn't even increase the thickness of the cockpit plexiglass to prevent a Na'Vi arrow from going through it, which seems pretty basic.

    So, the reason for the lack of drones:

    -- The RDA needs to make work for as many people as possible to increase settlement numbers and give people incentive to take a risky trip to another world.

    -- There may be existing terrestrial resentment to automation that fully replaces rather than simply supplements a human, which would explain the AMP suits and exoskeleton the general was wearing being commonplace but drones and robots not.

    -- Given that this is Cameron, he may have his own worldbuilding for future Earth that we're not privy too yet where AI drones got out of control during all the human resource wars and turned on their creators for a bit, making them untrustworthy in the eyes of many, and especially the former soldiers working private security for RDA.

    -- The aforementioned magnetic fields and "flux vortex" issue which wreak havoc with electronic systems but don't affect humans would render drones useless and cause them to crash in many of the sacred regions favored by the Na'Vi.

    -- The RDA does seem to be somewhat restrained (I use the term very loosely after that nigh apocalyptic landing sequence) either out of concern for poor PR or legal restrictions placed on them by the world governments, or else you'd think they'd just fuel-air explosive bomb every Na'Vi settlement they find, or release some Na'Vi-targeting genetic virus to wipe them all out. Clearly, they have a long leash for doling out violence, but total extermination of the indigenous population seems to not be permitted. So wiping out a bunch of native tribes armed with bows and arrows with unmanned drones might cross the line for the folks back home, even though they're turning a blind eye to all the other slaughter.

    -- From an out-of-universe standpoint, there's no dramatic tension if it's just drones fighting. Sure, you don't want the Na'vi to die, but you also have Trudi in her chopper, and if it's just drones, of course you're going to root against them. But if they're your fellow human beings, and you're actively rooting for them to lose against an alien force, that's a unique and interesting turnabout.
     
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  10. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Also, not necessarily part of the reasoning, but depending on the 22nd century law, RDA probably doesn't need to pay a dime to those who died.
     
  11. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well a few mile long antimatter plume is a touch more devastating than a fuel air bomb...
     
  12. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Yo, Dawg! I Heard You Like Avatars... In Memoriam

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    Yes, which is why I also mentioned the "nigh apocalyptic landing sequence." My point was though, that for whatever reason, bad PR or legal restrictions placed on them by the world governments or actually having the faintest bit of a conscience, they didn't just opt for a full extermination of the Na'Vi with antimatter landing plumes, or nukes, or viruses, they instead opted for a staggered plan of first trying assimilation and colonization, and then escalating the violence as the Na'Vi justifiably resisted.

    So, while they're still unquestionably cruel and evil in their actions at times, there may be some factors holding them back from waging unconditional warfare that can't be sold as "fair" (however lopsided things may be) to the people back home, and using drones against natives might be considered a step too far to some. Is it hypocritical and splitting hairs given all the other violence being inflicted on the Na'Vi by the human colonizers? Absolutely. But human do that all the time against their own kind too.
     
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  13. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Commodore Commodore

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    If it keeps the pace it’ll make 2 billion easy.
     
  14. Lakenheath 72

    Lakenheath 72 Commodore Commodore

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    We see one of the tulkun hunting ships being constructed at Bridgehead by the hexbots, so they have the capability to make anything.

    There are drones in the air above Bridgehead, the construction blimps. They are used for moving loads of cargo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2023
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  15. Reverend

    Reverend Admiral Admiral

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    I think the larger point here is that the goal isn't to wipe out the Na'vi, but to subdue and ultimately assimilate them. They're a potential resource just like everything else after all, and the nuking every settlement across the entire planet would be both an impracticable chore, and just turn Pandora into a poisoned, irradiated, and useless wasteland.

    That's why they're targeting Jakesully and his family directly. He's not just a resistance leader, but a symbol both for the Na'vi and their human allies. Classic divide and conquer.

    Also I wouldn't be shocked if part of the plot of one of the next few movies will involve the RDA abducting Na'vi children and indoctrinating them into human culture. That's often been a favourite tool of colonisers and missionaries alike. If you supplant or co-opt the native culture, then you've already done half the work.
     
  16. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some would be clearly jealous of Spider becoming wilful part of Na'vi culture, though I'm not suggesting this is in any way similar. He – and I'd imagine Kiri who is hinted to spends a lot of time with the scientists too, probably to hang out with Spider, see and hear her biological mother, or just heedfully be where she isn't supposed to be – are very much between cultures, what the human idiots would actually need, unlike your brainwashed Na'vi would be.

    Alternatively, as speculated by others, Quaritch may feel uncomfortable returning home after burning the human ships again, so he and Lyle take their Ikrans, try to join a local tribe and turn them against Sully and whoever he is with, and/or to work at dividing the Na'vi with some superficial hints to the conquistadors picking indigenous allies to conquer the Aztec empire, etc. Wouldn't be too unfitting, Cortés' expedition was a mutiny against orders, and Quaritch has himself gone rogue before. More unsubtle allegory can be had.
     
  17. Reverend

    Reverend Admiral Admiral

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    The problem with that idea is that what Na'vi clan would *ever* ally with a demon to attack other clans and Eywa herself? The main difference between the Na'vi clans and the Native American tribes is that the latter were still human; they still fought wars against each other, raided their neighbours, and were generally jealous of those they perceived to have more wealth and power. In short; they were corruptible. The Na'vi so far don't seem to have that same tendency, or else we would have seen it already. Indeed from the fluff, Na'vi culture and evolution seems to have been stable for the past 12 million years. I can't see that changing anytime soon.
    The RDA had been there for decades prior to the first movie after all and you'd think "recruiting" a local tribe to act as scouts and interpreters would have been something they'd try very early on.

    That said, I can see Quaritch landing with some clan and trying to replicate what Jake did with the Omatikaya. Not to serve the RDA's agenda but to carve out his own empire once he realises that he and the other recoms are basically company property at this point, and can never go home. How far he gets with that approach is of course another matter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2023
  18. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Final numbers are obviously not yet available, but from estimates, it appears the domestic BO drop between the second and third weekend was about 0%. That is wild.
     
  19. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It kind of amazes me that anyone had any doubt about this. Every time Cameron has made a movie since Terminator 2 it has been exactly the same story. People whine and complain about the budget costs because he's always using new technology and techniques, and there are all kinds of articles about how the film will never make the money it needs to--and then the film defies all expectations and becomes a huge hit. Terminator 2, Titanic, Avatar and now The Way of Water.
     
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  20. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    I had little doubt about it being a hit, but still, to lose no business at all between the second and third weekend, that's almost unheard of. I mean, No Way Home was a huge hit with legs, but even that one dropped 34% on its third weekend.