"it is for the most part seamless and a joy to watch"

An Avatar sequel had been talked about for so long its fair to say that many may have though this would never happen, whilst it does not have the distinction of having the longest gap between sequels; looking at you Top Gun: Maverick, hat had that sizeable gap, Avatar: The Way Of Water was still one hell of a gamble.

James Cameron himself has said that he's prepared to end the franchise on a third entry if Avatar: The Way Of Water isn't profitable so there is a hell of a lot riding on this....

Thankfully it does this wonderfully, for my money I'd say that it improves in EVERY aspect over the original, Let's break this down. Firstly the essential story beats, follow the originals conclusion where Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) has settled into his role as war chief/leader of the Forrest Na'vi (this will become essential as the story progresses) and we start to see his family complete with his own children as well as an adoptive daughter born of Dr Grace's Avatar (Sigourney Weaver returning in a superb shift in character) and an unknown father.

However with the return of humans/sky people this family is forced to flee and seek refuge with the Sea Na'vi, this is all I'm willing to divulge as the story itself is best experienced as freshly as possible. However it is nice to see that the Sea dwelling Na'vi borrow from Polynesian/ Mouri culture giving them a personality and appearance of their own and setting them apart distinctively from the Forest Na'vi.

The story as a whole is heart warming, exciting and intricate, everything you would expect from Cameron at his best. Without spoilers it is safe to say the returning Sam Worthington, Zoe Zaldana, Sigourney Weaver are superb and then there is the addition of Kate Winslet who excels in her role.

Visually there was never any doubt that any Avatar sequel was going to be amazing, however there was a lot on the line with James Cameron's boasts of it being better visually than anything Marvel could produce. Whilst I will forever be a fan of all things comic book this has literally blown them out of the water (well as much as both 20th Century Studios and Marvel both being owned by Disney can be).

Also.. My personal feeling is that films in 3D are usually extremely gimmick heavy but it truly is the best way to experience Avatar: The Way Of Water.. it is for the most part seamless and a joy to watch, there are moments however where it does feel like you're watching a cut scene from a latest generation video game due to the motion but it's very easily forgiven.

The music and sound design are absolute bliss and a huge component of recreating the feeling of Pandora we all loved from the first film as well as making its own mark and making this story a definitive entry rather than a rehash of the original. The bass particular enhances the seat of your pants end sequence and has you on the edge of your seat.

My only criticism possibly due to sound and possibly due to dialogue is that some time it is difficult to place names to the characters due to there being so many new characters and their names not often being used but this is a minor complaint at best.

If you enjoy this you will be pleased to know that pending this entry doing well there are plans for the remaining 3 sequels to be filmed back to back so we all won't end up old and grey by the end of the epic saga.

In summary, to say this is a masterpiece of cinema may not be far off, by sheer achievements alone it's no doubt an easy win for an Oscar or twelve. It is an epic, enjoyable, heart-warming and genuine delight of a film to watch. Please be aware there is an approx 3 hour 15 minute run time, so bladders will be punished if you don't play it smart. If the original was compared to “Dances with Wolves” then I'm sure this will get favourable comparisons to “How To Train Your Dragon”(please don't take this seriously).

It's an easy 4.5 out of 5, almost perfect but there's always room for improvement.