2022 Film Awards Day Two: The Technical

Best Looking

I tried to go for different types of visuals here, so everything here has a different reason for me liking the visuals. On the downside this means that some did miss out, purely because what they did very well, others did better.

Avatar: The Way Of Water

Obviously, this was going to be here. The film itself is dull, but it’s a visual masterpiece. The worlds feel lived in, with environments and buildings showing suitable wear and tear.


The level of detail on the clothes is amazing. You can almost feel the fabric. There’s a great visual flow to everything too. The house etc looks lived in due to the little visual details.


Mainly because it did a great job of making you feel like you were high up. This was probably the most nauseating film I saw all year, and that’s entirely due to how effective the visuals were.

Licorice Pizza

I hated this film, but I loved the way it looked. It looked like it was being watched on an old cathode TV.

Orphan: First Kill

It’s a prequel, filmed 13 years on from the original, but you never think that the actress is 13 years older than she was originally. All practical as well.

The Batman

Very rarely has Gotham looked quite as grimy as it does here.


We’re All Going To The Worlds Fair

Without the visuals, this would be poor. It would be too incomprehensible. With it, it’s hauntingly beautiful. Some films have looked better, but few films have enhanced the quality of a film as much as was done here. It’s like being trapped in a lava lamp.

Best Music


I watched this film once, haven’t watched anything on youtube about it since, and I don’t own the soundtrack. I can still hear some of the songs in my head sometimes.

Bullet Train

It had a Japanese cover of Holding Out For A Hero playing out during action scenes, what else do you want?

Licorice Pizza

A good mix of classic music that suits the tone perfectly. Yes, I am aware it’s weird to nominate a film for two positive awards if I hated it. Deal with it.


So very creepy. Incredibly effective at making you feel wary of what would otherwise be beautiful countryside.

The Justice Of Bunny King

Mainly for the cover of What’s Up that plays over the end.

We’re All Going To The Worlds Fair

I mean, I purchased the soundtrack. The only movie soundtrack I purchased all year in fact. So it’s kind of here by default.



“The Family Madrigal” earned this film a nomination, “Surface Pressure” won this for it. A legit heartbreaking song.

Best Character

Bee – Bodies Bodies Bodies

She’s one of the few likeable characters. She’s just so damn kind that you see her in this world and really feel for how the dickweeds are treating her. She goes through so much through the course of this film that your heart just breaks for her.

Jupe – Nope

A character is in such strong denial about his trauma. Only being able to talk about it through the medium of an SNL sketch, and then repeating the exact same damn mistakes. It’s stupid, and it’s baffling, but it’s so human.

Luisa – Encanto.

Had a lot of options for this and really there are many that could be chosen, in the end I went with her because it’s specifically her song where the whole tone changes and the film becomes something different.

Mina – Ballad Of A White Cow

She is so beaten down by her situation, and you can’t really blame her for feeling like she does. It’s made worse by the fact that this happens all the time to women in certain parts of the world. They’re powerless to stop it, and others are powerless to help. There’s a scene near the end which demonstrates this. I talked about it in the original review and I’ll post it again here:

Sadly, this act of kindness ends up getting her evicted (for having an unrelated male in the house), but she never mentions it to him. She hides it from him out of kindness for him. Because she doesn’t want him to feel guilty.

The Riddler – The Batman

Takes a character who is usually seen as a joke by the film-going audience, and makes him a highly disturbing serial killer.

The Wolf – Bullet Train

He gets a whole sequence fleshing out his backstory, giving him a compelling arc which you know he’s going to use as the basis to redeem himself later in the film. Instead, he dies, very quickly. And it’s brilliant.


Benoit Blanc – Glass Onion

I think he’s now up there with the greatest characters in modern cinema. Everything about him is notable. The fact that “Benoit describing other films” is now a meme, displays just how well-written and defined this character is.

Worst Character

Cyclone – Black Adam

Mainly because it did a terrible job of explaining her powers.

Spider – Avatar: The Way Of Water

His characterisation is all over the place. He was raised with the Na’vi and dislikes humans. He gets kidnapped by humans and then starts liking them, even though many of his friends have been killed by them. He then watches the humans attempt genocide, and decides that’s too much, he has to leave them. But not before saving the villains life, making sure he can come back in the sequel.

Billy Lomas – Scream

Hallucinations always feel like a cheap way of bringing dead characters back, and that’s definitely the case here. It’s nice to see the actor again, and it does make some narrative sense, but it kind of feels like they came up with the concept of him coming back first, and then wrote a reason for it.

Will – Ambulance

Only because it’s yet another “No, I don’t kill” character who then DEFINITELY kills nameless characters by causing accidents and vehicular destruction. He’s written too much like a cliché, which renders him really uninteresting to watch.

Alana/Gary – Licorice Pizza

When the two characters were apart, they were smart, funny, likeable, and I wanted to see more of them. When they were together they were selfish, manipulative, and nonsensical. It drove them to be the worst versions of themselves. Which for a film about a relationship is a bad thing.


Corey Cunningham – Halloween Ends

His entire arc lessens not just this film, but the entire modern trilogy. They really dropped the ball with this entry, and part of that is because of the sudden focus on Corey. I refuse to believe this was the plan all along, if it was, it should have been threaded through the previous two films.

Best Performer

Janelle Monae – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

A strong cast throughout, but Monae inches ahead because of her (spoiler) duel roles. It’s difficult as not only does she have to play both, but also has to play one who is pretending to be the other. It’s a really tricky performance, but she manages it, and provides the glue that holds the film together.

Ayden Mayeri – Confess, Fletch

She’s surrounded by veterans of the comedy game in Roy Wood Jr, Jon Hamm, Annie Mumolo, and John Slatterly. Meanwhile, she is still yet to have a Wikipedia page. That’s a damn shame, as in a film of comedy giants, she stands out. Her line delivery provides some of the biggest vegan laughs (that’s laughs that contain no Hamm). I want to see her in more stuff, especially leading a sitcom. She’s got the skills, and now she has the credibility.

Grace Carolyn Currey – Fall

The film is anchored around her performance, if she fails, she drags the film down and it sinks. I kind of regret saying “anchored” now, feels like it clashes with the metaphor, but the point still stands.

Anastasia Budiashkina – Olga

If this was “best film debut performance by a sports star” then Anastasia would definitely……be in the top two for this year (spoilers). Even without her complete inexperience, this would be an astounding performance. But when you consider that this is her only acting performance, it’s almost impossible to believe.

Kali Reis – Catch The Fair One

The other sports star performance of the year, this time from a boxer. She has an advantage over Budiashkina in that she has acted before, in an episode of True Detective. Normally, that wouldn’t be enough experience for a director to base a film around. She brings an energy to this film that is unmatched. I also love the fact that she seems like a genuinely good person, albeit one that punches women in the face for a living.

Austin Butler – Elvis

Everyone is familiar with Elvis Presley. They know his voice, they know his look, and they know his mannerisms. So if a performer is lacking in certain aspects, not only will it be noticed, but the person will be ripped apart by a truly passionate fanbase. If you even get a syllable wrong, you’ll be crucified. It’s a LOT of pressure, and it could destroy a young actor. I know Elvis fans, and ones who dislike a lot of things, they liked his performance. I did too, there’s a moment near the end where it shows footage of the real Elvis and it suddenly hit me “oh yeah, I was watching an actor”.


Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All At Once

I tried to limit it to one performer from each film, and this was the hardest one to pick. Everybody in this is at the top of their game. There’s not a single moment where the performances could be improved. In a way, this film is for all three of the leads, but Hsu deserves highlighting because of the sheer amount of differences she has to give her variations. Michelle Yeoh does too, but a lot of her hardest work is in the physical fight scenes, and the differences aren’t quite as varied as the ones Hsu is given to do. Very few performers can be both an omnicidal maniac, and a broken and scared teen who just wants her mother to recognise she’s in pain, even fewer manage both of those in the same film.

2022 Film Awards Part 1: The Moments

Going to try something a bit different this year, rather than place every award in one post, I’m going to split it over three, mainly to avoid repetition, and to keep it to a readable length. In this one I’ll be focused more on moments, focusing more on how films started, ended, and the moments in between.

Worst Closing


It feels like they cut a few scenes off. It goes from “here’s my plan” to “I succeeded” way too quickly. It’s a shame as there could have been a lot more tension in those scenes.


Really unsubtle sequel bait. The premise of the film itself is stupid, but whilst watching it I thought that was a deliberate “yes this is dumb, but it’s fun” stylistic choice. Then the way the story concluded made go all Benoit Blanc “no! It’s just dumb”.

The Batman

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED this film, and it is long, but the ending is the only part where it feels long. We got the point being made, they didn’t need to repeat it again and again.

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

Just a simply terrible ending. A great film leaves you feeling things, this just leaves you thinking “wait, what?”. It’s basically a “guys, there’s trouble at the old mill” shrugs shoulders “here we go again” ending that was popular in 70’s tv shows.



Vulture ends up here from the MCU. One of those endings which just gets dumber the more you think about it. It is technically a post-credits scene, but considering they put it in the marketing, I’m counting it. A shitty ending to a shitty movie. 

Best Closing


A very sweet textual tribute. I’m normally not a fan of text ending a film, but it works brilliantly here.

Halloween Ends

The destruction of Michael Myers. The PERFECT way to end this franchise. If you ignore, you know, the whole middle section of the film.

Nightmare Alley

The main character submits to a life of being a geek. It’s horrifying, and so bleak. But perfect.

The Justice Of Bunny King

A phone call with her kids. She knew she has screwed up, and she knows she’s made it a lot worse. The kids don’t seem phased though. Which makes it worse. They’re too young. Their innocence comes off as apathy and you can tell she’s doomed. Then the police shoot her. It’s really the only way it could end. It’s emotionally devastating but narratively satisfying. It also says a lot about her character that when she’s being loaded into the back of the ambulance she points out the windows are disgusting


Bodies, Bodies Bodies

The reveal changes everything about this. Closes what you thought were plot holes, and puts a whole new spin on the film on the characters. The build-up to it is great too, when you can sense it is about to happen.

Best Moment

Belle – Everyone Sings

When the world starts singing, it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a sign saying “free cheese”.

Bodies Bodies Bodies – The First Death

Ties everything together perfectly, and is timed brilliantly. When I saw it I could sense when different people got it. The laughter of recognition made its way through the audience and it was a wonderful experience to be part of.

Bullet Train – The Wolf

Really there are a lot of options here, almost all of the fight scenes are worthy. But I have to go with the introduction of The Wolf. His entire sequence is a masterclass in how to set up a character’s motivations, and it’s stylish as hell. It gives what could be a small character SO much detail.

Catch The Fair One – The Kidnapping

It’s so naturally done. There’s no dramatic music leading up to it. It’s unexpected and shocking. There are a lot of choices in this though; the missing person group was also up there for being chosen

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness – Illuminati

Gloriously vicious and violent. Plus it really shows how dangerous a character she is.

Fall – Ladder Break

A moment of incredible tension that truly shook up the audience in the screen I was in.

Nope – SNL

The fact that Jupe can only relive the trauma through an SNL skit says so much about him. That level of denial explains so much about his character, and why he does what he does. It’s one of those scenes which only gets better the more you think about the implications of it.

The Batman – Flood Saving

When he goes to save a group of people, they flinch away from him. Genius. It shows how his use of fear to keep order needs to be balanced with providing hope.

Thor: Love and Thunder – Relationship Montage

The Thor/Jane Foster romance is one that hasn’t really been well received in the MCU, with the whole thing feeling a bit flatand unnecessary. This saved it. It made the relationship feel real, and it meant you actually felt the heartache that Thor was going through.

You Are Not My Mother – Dance Scene

It has a really intense energy. I don’t see how they could have done that scene any better, the most perfect way. Also a great piece of dynamic storytelling and character-building.


Everything Everywhere All At Once – Googly Eyes On A Rock

Again, a lot of options. So many of the fight scenes are incredible. But I have to go with something simpler, a scene of a silent conversation between two rocks. Even remembering it brings me to tears.

Worst Moment

Scream – Billy

The hallucinations of him are something that hasn’t really been a theme in the Scream series (outside of a brief few moments in the third one), so it just doesn’t feel like a tonal fit.

Clerks 3 – Ending Credits

Kevin Smith narrates over the credits, explaining what happened to the characters afterwards. Feels incredibly lazy and last minute.

Elvis – MLK death

Trying to tie the assassination of MLK into Elvis’s career feels really cheap and unnatural.

The Lost King – Ghost Clue

They changed a lot about the character, but I don’t think it’s particularly a big secret that in real life, the character had more to go on than “a ghost told me where he was buried”.

The Phantom Of The Open – Dream Sequence

Completely unnecessary and a bit stupid. Almost embarrassing to watch.

Firestarter – “It’s different for us”

Has THE worst piece of editing I’ve seen this year. Or a bad performance. The line is delivered as if it’s half of a sentence. She doesn’t get interrupted, she doesn’t slow down or lose her bearings, the camera just cuts away and there’s no sound of her talking anymore. It sounds like she’s been cut off by silence. It takes a lot for a scene of a simple conversation to be nominated for this, the scene is so bad that it managed it.

Morbius – Falling Fight Scene

It’s an incomprehensible mess. A basic necessity of a fight scene is you should be able to tell what’s going on. This is just a blob of grey falling down from a great height.


Avatar: The Way Of Water – The Entire Third Act

Not needed. When I saw it at the cinema the start of the final action scene caused a noticeable reaction, and not a good one. It was like the air had been sucked out of the room. If it was a live gig people would have thrown bottles of piss. 

Best Opening


It automatically gets the audience asking questions, and kind of horrifies them too. It also sets up the reveal beautifully. There are some flaws in how this film approaches mystery and questions, but the set up is incredible.

The Batman

Instantly sets up this universe as being something different from what we’ve seen before. It feels like every time we get a new Batman movie it’s advertised as “this is dark and gritty”, but this is the first time it feels truly earned. It’s genuinely disturbing and sets up the tone better than any other opening could have.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Mainly because it automatically answered the question everybody was going to ask, and did it in a respectful and dignified way.


The sound of knocking and someone asking their mother to open a door. The daughter apologises, the mother rejects her apologies and we hear electric noises and screaming. Good start, suitably creepy.

You Are Not My Mother

A baby in a pram in the middle of the street in darkness. Such a simple but effective way to open the film. The baby is then taken to the woods by its grandmother, who lights a ring of fire around her. Instantly gets you asking questions.

Broadcast Signal Intrusion

James is transferring tapes over at work, then goes home. Really well done actually. They don’t go with traditional horror music, they go with jazz, which gives it a strange ethereal quality. Some really creative shots too. It then goes into slightly more horror dream fare but the transition between reality and horror is handled well.


Halloween Ends

Corey is babysitting a kid and accidentally kills him. Apparently, this is frowned upon in babysitting circles. It was an accident (and kind of the kid’s fault), but the town still blames him. The film never gets close to this level of small-town paranoia and fear again.

2022 In Film: Day Five (Once Was Enough)

Films which were fine, I’m glad I saw them, but I’m in no hurry to see them again.

A Hero

Ups: Very human

Looks amazing, some beautiful setpieces.

The relationship between the lead and his girlfriend feels very natural

Downs: The writer/director is a dick.

Quite dull in times.

Best Moment: The scene of him in the bank saying he found the bag. Great background acting from the extras when he mentions he’s in prison.

Worst Moment: The ending. It drags slightly

Best Performer: Amir Jadidi

Opening: He’s let out of prison. The pure joy on his face, and then the slight disappointment when none of the taxi cabs stop for him. It’s such a small way to introduce a character, but it does so much. Almost no dialogue for the first five minutes, mostly him walking. But it does allow you to look at the nice scenery.

Closing: He’s back in prison, but with some form of dignity. You don’t hear what his son says to him, but it’s weirdly powerful to watch them say goodbye to each other, it’s heartbreaking. It does go on a few minutes longer than it needs to. The final shot of him inside, queuing up to go back in just feels a bit like wasted time.

Best Line: “where in the world are people celebrated for not doing wrong?” Essentially Chris Rock’s “you don’t get credit for doing shit you’re supposed to do”, but in a dramatic sense.

Original Review here

All My Friends Hate Me

Ups: Very funny

All felt real.

The performances

So awkward.

Downs: A bit too real to be enjoyable.

The friends are really unlikeable.

Best Moment: The ending. Mainly because it’s the only bit of warmth.

Worst Moment: The reveal of the death, seemed to come out of nowhere.

Best Performer: Tom Stourton

Opening: Pete drives to the party, intercut with him having a conversation with his girlfriend. It’s a really weak opening actually, the editing feels a bit weird, like you’re watching a DVD on shuffle.

Closing: Someone nearly dies. I won’t say who, and I won’t say how (I mean, I probably did in the original review but still, nobody reads those). Okay that’s not the ending, but it should have been. It’s a natural crescendo, but then the film continues into an awkward car ride home which doesn’t really land narratively.

Best Line: “You’re doing a bit crap”. It’s at this point the shift happens and he does start being hated by everybody.

Original Review here


Ups: Very funny.

Good ensemble cast.

About a fascinating piece of US history.

Downs: Issues with tone.

Has trouble with pacing. Going too quickly and then too slowly.

Far far too long.

The characters don’t take the situation seriously, which means the audience don’t.

Best Moment: The three characters in Amsterdam. Weirdly life-affirming.

Worst Moment: The many many instances of tonal whiplash.

Best Performer: John David Washington

Opening: Burt Berendsen is a doctor who specialises in treating war veterans. Good way to introduce both the character and the world.

Closing: The plot is uncovered, and nothing happens. Bit bleak, and not sure that’s what’s really needed right now.

Best Line: “Each one of us is given a tapestry, our own opera. This person and this person. Thinking about it… love is not enough. You got to fight to protect kindness. You get attached to people and things. And they might just break your heart… but that’s being alive”

Original Review here

Avatar: The Way Of Water

Ups: It looks superb.

Good performances.

Sets up the sequel well.

Adds to the mythology.

Downs: Stupid character decisions.

Actually, stupid characters (especially Spider).

Exhaustingly long. That’s the only reason it’s in this section, otherwise it would be the “very good”. But I’m not sure I can stand to watch this film again.

Best Moment: The first time we see Omaticaya. Breathtaking.

Worst Moment: The very lazy way it handwaves everyone speaking in English (sometimes). Oh, and the entire final act.

Best Performer: Sigourney Weaver

Opening: A “where we are now” explaining what’s happened in the last 12 years, Jake now has a family. I think this film assumed everybody remembered the last film, almost zero attempt to appeal to people who can’t remember that much.

Closing: A completely unnecessary sequence set on a sinking boat. The audience had already got into “okay it’s ending soon” mode, only to have another 20 minutes or so tacked on. Oh, and Spider saves his not-dad, even though he hates him because of the whole “genocide” thing. Done purely so the character can come back in the sequel.

Best Line: “Well, I hate you times infinity Lo’ak. Penis face!” Mainly because it came out of nowhere.

Original Review here

Ballad Of A White Cow

Ups: Very tense.

Great performances.



Downs: Could cut about 10 minutes from it

Pacing a bit slow

Muddled messages

Best Moment: Just after the worst moment (depicted below). He gets back in the car and starts driving her around. She’s haunted and just stares ahead with tears on her face. Not a word is said but her face says so much.

Worst Moment: There’s a scene at the end of a phone conversation where she finds out the truth about the guy who’s helping her (that he was one of the men who sentenced her husband to death). The camera is focused on a car on the opposite side of the road. So it’s a static shot of nothing of any importance.

Best Performer: Maryam Moqadam

Opening: Opening text about a quote from the Quran about slaughtering a cow. Then a white cow in a courtyard of a really bleak building. Looks weirdly CGI.

Closing: She poisons someone. It’s not quick or comedic. It’s probably the best poisoning I’ve seen in a film for the long time You truly get his panic and torment, but also how ultimately it doesn’t make her feel better or bring her peace. Although it then shows him sitting at the table, so it’s likely she imagined it and realised the meaningless of doing it. Or she just sat his body up on the chair, which is much less likely.

Best Line: “why don’t we ask daddy for some?” Makes you aware that she hasn’t told her daughter that her dad was executed. Tbf, how do you say that?

Original Review here

DC League Of Super-Pets

Ups: Good jokes, some of which will only work in this film.

Full of references.

Downs: Kevin Hart doesn’t work as Bat-Hound

Bit simple.

The human heroes get overpowered too easily

The human/pet choices are far too convenient.

Not enough for adults.

Best Moment: The bat-hound flashback saying why he got abandoned. Heartbreaking.

Worst Moment: The “sacrifice”. Mainly because you know it won’t stick so there’s zero tension.

Best Performer: Keanu Reeves. Not in it much but is perfect.

Opening: Destruction of Krypton. Because that’s not been seen enough in films.

Closing: All the pets have formed a super-hero team. Pretty obvious. The big thing from the ending (well, mid credits scene) is the film debut of Black Adam. Didn’t really gather that much hype though.

Best Line: “That’d better be a licensed toy or I will freak out.”

Original Review here

Lingui, The Sacred Bonds

Ups: So very tense.

Some lush landscapes. Africa is still presented as “sand and sadness” so it’s good to see lush greenery and beautiful rivers.

So powerful.

There’s an act of violence near the end which is incredibly realistic. That works for it and against it. It doesn’t make it seem cinematic, but the dull thuds give it a strange bruality.

Downs: The editing could be slightly clearer at parts.

Some shots could be better.

Chemistry between the two leads isn’t quite there.

Best Moment: When Maria tries to drown herself. It’s eerily calm and quiet. Most drownings are like a series of crashing waves, this is more like a calm lake

Worst Moment: There’s one REALLY bad edit where someone is walking and suddenly it’s edited so they’re about 2 feet away and standing in a position where they’ve been there a while.

Best Performer: Achouackh Abakar Souleyman

Opening: Character cutting open and stripping a tire, using the parts of it to make wire stoves. Good introduction to how resourceful she can be.

Closing: Brutal violence, followed by the daughter being given independence.

Best Line: “Many girls get pregnant, and it’s bad for our image” ouch.

Original Review here


Ups: Delightfully dumb.


The large setpieces are well-crafted and unique.

Downs: Some really bad CGI for backgrounds.

Even an idiot could point out scientific inaccuracies.

Aggressively American

Best Moment: Most of the moments with John Bradley’s character. He’s funny and really nerdy.

Worst Moment: The entire sub-plot of the family back on earth getting to a safe location. Adds nothing.

Best Performer: John Bradley.

Opening: The original incident. Showing two of the characters being attacked. On the plus side it’s dynamic, exciting, and lets you know what’s happening. On the downside, it lets you know what’s happening. It would have been nice if they withheld the truth a little bit longer, let us have doubts about the main character’s recollection.

Closing: The character who died forever lives as AI. A massive cop-out that I saw coming a mile off. Also seems like really unsubtle sequel baiting.

Best Line: “You’re part of the Moon now.” so dumb.

Original Review here

Avatar: The Way Of Water (2022)

Quick Synopsis: Many years after the first film (which this really could do a better job of reminding you what happened in it btw), Jake Sully continues to live on Pandora, but is forced to move for his families safety as humans continue to try to colonize the planet.

I know this is going to start weird, but don’t worry, I am going somewhere with it.

January 26, 2014, a day that will live in wrestling infamy. It was the 2014 edition of the Royal Rumble event and the fans were hyped for Daniel Bryan to win the main event and go to Wrestlemania. But that didn’t happen, and if you watch that event live it’s fascinating to hear the audience’s reaction. Once they realise that Bryan is not even going to be in the match, let alone win, they openly revolt. You can feel the air get sucked out of the arena, and all goodwill has left. No matter how good things were before that, it was that moment that stuck with everyone there. That moment reminded me of this film. The audience were into this throughout. They were entranced by the visuals, sold on the story, and completely sold on the world and characters that had been created. But it felt like at that moment the audience kind of tapped out and gave up on it. It’s the first time I’ve seen a cinema audience seem to get restless at the same point. People started checking the time on their phone, or talking to the person next to them. Ordinarily, this would get them a good hard stare from everybody, and if they continued making a scene, they’d receive a tut of disapproval, possibly even a headshake. On this occasion, the general reaction seemed to be more “yeah, fair enough mate. Makes sense”. It’s just too long. It’s over 3 hours long, and it feels it. I know not every film can be short, some films have too much story to fit into 90 minutes. But this feels unnaturally long. It’s not helped by the fact that it has an extended sequence which film language tells us is the third-act showdown, involving all the characters, and some glorious action set-pieces. But then there’s another scene. They have another scene which is similar, just in a darker location and with fewer characters. It’s that scene which lost the audience btw.

It’s a shame that happens, as before that, it is an enjoyable film. Considering how much of it is CGI, it looks INCREDIBLE. There are zero moments where the visuals don’t look real. Animating water is always difficult, especially in 3D animation, not just due to the physics of it (each part of water affects the rest of it, but also moves independently so you have to try and take that into account with the way it moves), but also the colour, it’s transparent (kind of), but also reflective, and it refracts when things enter it. So a film set almost entirely in water could end up looking terrible. The only time the visuals don’t really work for me is when there’s a fight between characters who are light blue, in an ocean, in front of a blue sky. That’s far too much blue, and is one of the few moments where the film isn’t visually compelling.

The story? It’s kind of basic. There are long periods where you can zone out and not miss anything important. But you don’t go into this for the plot, and it’s not as though the plot is bad enough that it harms the film. Yes, it could be better, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. The biggest issues plot-wise all relate to one character; Spider. His entire arc makes no sense. He goes from hating his dad, to trying to impress him, to be annoyed with him for attempting genocide, to saving his life (for sequel reasons). It does not work at all, and is one of the biggest missteps it makes.

For a lot of people, that won’t matter though. The film is beautiful enough that you won’t care. The performances are all great, especially Sigourney Weaver as a teenage girl. It is a simply stunning piece of cinema to watch. Just, you know, be fully aware that you can take a pee break at almost any point and it won’t matter.