Saturday, 17 December 2022

Avatar: The Way of Water! MACHINE BAD! Cat-Girl go HISSSSSSSSSSS

Look, the politics of this are so dumb as shit the only way to watch it is to let them wash over you (like water) and just vibe with it. It feels like a hippies dolphin poster from the 70's plus captain planet plus 80s Greepeace plus JRR Tolkien (MACHINE BAD), plus Jacques Cousteau. that's about it. Basically its Greenpeace; The Epic Cartoon.

If you want to see suggestively erotic blue cat people and sentient tattooed whales fight CRAB ROBOTS, evil AUSTRALIANS, BOSTOM DYNAMICS FIGHT SUITS, and Stephen Lang who is now also a CAT PERSON MARINE, then this is the film for you. I can't tell whether this is a good film as it is genuinely dumb as shit but I also had a lot of fun so who knows.


The one reason  think Scrap might like this is that there are some very EVIL AUSTRALIANS hunting SENTIENT WHALES and LOVING EVERY SECOND OF IT. But all of humanity is relentlessly evil and so engagingly clever and inventive that I was basically on their side the whole time. Every time they turned up in their wonderful machines to burn nature while drinking coffee from their robot arms I was like "Humanity yeah!" I want toys of all the human stuff and a tabletop game where you fight cat people for unobtanium and whale juice NO FLAG, NO COUNTRY, SORRY!


The actually good actors are back. Stephen Lang is now an engram downloaded into a cat person body on a quest for revenge for his own death. He is tremendous fun. He drinks coffee! Sigourney Weaver is back as her own cat-person daughter in a role which sounds mental but which she carries off wonderfully. I feel like in a weird way Sigourney Weaver was made to do something this fucking strange as the genuine oddness of the role seems to suit her quite well. Zoe Saldana is still good as the probably-actual-protagonists who shoots arrows at Stephen Lang. The main guy is back as well, he is also present. 

So basically in-fiction people are swapping bodies, living in spliced cat bodies, wearing robot suits, living behind masks in an alien environment which they grew up in, being colonial marines with the memories of the dead but wearing the bodies of the people they are here to oppress. 

While irl everyone is jumping around wearing mocap suits, making CAT FACES, older actors playing young characters, or reborn versions of dead characters, changing age and form. Its a trip.


Everyone from Cameron down commits one bazillion per cent to whatever they are doing. No late-millennial veil of irony here! Only the sweetest most absolute CHEESE delivered with the greatest VERVE. If we were in the late 60s and had been watching 'Oaters' and Roman Sandal Operas for 30 years I would be sick of this shit but instead its the opposite and we have been watching fear-of-truth inronyclasm shit for 30 years so now this cheese smells good to me. HISSSS cat person! Machine bad! Nature Good! You want a comprehensive procedural breakdown on how we hunt sentient whales for their JUICE in this imaginary world? Well here you go! For about 15 minutes of imagined nature documentary! I like this shit so F you if you don't.

Someone really and genuinely cared about every single element of this film from the tiny dots on the cat people faces to how the trifold mouth of a sentient whale might open to water droplets coming of a cat persons ass to hiding every single (adult) cat-girl NIPPLE to how a ROBOT GENERAL might drink her MURDER COFFEE in her ROBOT SUIT. In it total commitment, massive starchiness, indifference to judgement, lack of irony, commitment to using CGI as an actual art rather than as fucking filler spackle over a directors mistakes and in its obsessive autistic world building it is the antithesis of whatever the fuck the current mode is.


Yo, I heard you liked your noble savages, how about we gave you Noble Savages... in Tahiti! Gauguin's Tahiti! Pus Moana! Here we live in harmony with nature with our sentient whale friends and commune with the WORLD SPIRIT in the SEA and have no wierd or disturbing rituals or beliefs in any way and no underclass, no slaves, no tribal wars or headhunting, no resource problems and also we have gender equality and no old people. And we are definitely not quietly aborting or killing our un-needed young like most pre-agricultural human cultures may have been. WORLD SPIRIT BABY!

Have you heard of MACHINES! Machines bad! But also FUCKING COOL! Humans use them! Train go whoosh! Robot go THUD! Explosive harpoon go PRING. Could humans be good somehow? Maybe hippies and scientists. Also away with your MACHINE MEDICINE, here we solve medical problems with SHAMANISM and the WORLD SPIRIT! You like FAMILIES? You better because FAMILY GOOD! FATHER PROTECT!


 It is a late 1970s summer, somewhere a serial killer stalks, a rocket curves a line over the horizon off to deliver a shuttle to yet another moon golf game, wreathed in the embers of the sun a stick-thin hippy is carefully spraycaning (HISSSSS - like a cats hisssss) the glorious image of a breaching whale onto the side of his VW Camper van and by god if it isn't the best spray can image of a whale you have ever seen. I cannot tell if this was a good film but this is the film that it was. Way of Water Baby!


  1. Sounds great! You've me on it!

  2. I wasn't going to watch this but your hilarious review sold me!

  3. I was unironically impressed going to see this movie. It's nothing groundbreaking in terms of narratives, not by a longshot (MURDER COFFEE, LMAO), but between the CGI and pure chaos of it all, it was actually great fun!

    8/10, would forget unobtanium existed over and over again.

    1. I wonder if Unobtanium is still there or if they now have that AND immortality juice?

  4. Loved it as well. It as a mix of a Nature Documentary and a Technology showcase. Plot was not needed for more.

    Yet I like this franchise a lot less the alien. There is no dark zone getting hinted at. No actual room to let my imagination run. Sure there is a giant super computer at the center of the planet and the cat people are a downshifted not native space race, (probably). But I'm not really interested in playing a pandora tabletop the same way I'm interested in playing a 40k game or a star wars game. Not enough freedom to make my own dudes probably.