In the early 2000’s, I didn’t have Nickelodeon or any of the popular cable networks, so I didn’t grow up watching “Avatar: the Last Airbender.” However, I will still take a look at M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender as its own movie. Sokka (Jackson Rathbone) and Katara (Nicola Peltz) are two waterbenders who discover Aang (Noah Ringer), the last living Avatar, frozen in ice in the Southern Water Tribe. In his journey, Aang must master all four elements to overthrow the Fire Nation and stop them from enslaving the Water Tribe and Earth Kingdom. Without going too deep into the comparison between this and the cartoon, let’s examine how you summarize Season 1 and make it one of the most boring films ever made. First, M. Night Shyamalan’s script consists of nothing but characters citing exposition without emotional address, lacking depth or visual flair. Second, condensing a full episodic series into a two hour long film makes the result too cluttered, unfocused, and slow, much like David Lynch’s Dune. Third, the majority of the action sequences are shot in one take in slow motion, focusing more on body movements and computer effects rather than dramatic tension or suspense. Finally, the actors perform their parts in a blank manner, probably because Shyamalan’s deadwood dialogue tree gives them nothing to work with thus the characters feel empty. Judging by how much backlash it got in 2010 and also how irritatingly dull and soulless is, I can probably thank The Last Airbender for making me want to watch “Avatar: The Last Airbender” more.
(1 ½ CGI Appas out of 5)
(FWI, I did watch the first three episodes of the cartoon show not long ago and they were really good.)
The Last Airbender review