Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Film Review | The Last Airbender

So, if you have read my blog for a while, you will already know that I am a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender (Avatar), a cartoon that recently finished its run on Nickelodeon. You can imagine that I was extremely excited to see the live-action film in theaters this past weekend. However, I hate to say it, but I was quite disappointed by the film. Hit the jump for the full review.

Grade: D+

Image via The Last Airbender's official movie site

I suppose that my grade is a little harsh, but I think it is what it deserves. Visually, The Last Airbender blew me away. It took the cartoon and made all of its quirks look normal. Seeing the water gush and the fire flare across the screen was nice. However, looks are not everything. The actual dialogue was uninspired. For those who have never watched Avatar before, you might get a good understanding of the characters, but the chemistry on-screen was not strong.

If you read about the story of Avatar, you will understand that Aang, the current Avatar, has a heavy responsibility to bear. However, he finds friendship and happiness in his relationship with his friends Katara and Sokka as they help him along his journey. I understand that M. Knight Shyamalan was doing his interpretation of the cartoon, but he lost the atmosphere that their relationship brought to the story. Instead, it felt a little piecemeal and empty.

Those who are fans of the show will see that the end alludes to the next part of the series, Book Two: Earth. Perhaps a second film is in the works, but I just hope that this go round will result in a better film. The Last Airbender had a lot of potential and a lot to work with, but it fell short in execution. I wouldn't recommend seeing the film in 3D as it didn't add all that much to the experience, so you can save some cash. If you decide to see it, I hope you don't leave as disappointed as I was.
Have you already seen it? Let me know what you thought of the film.

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