By: Bryan Montgomery
Rating: 4 out of 10
The Last Airbender, adapted from a Nickelodeon TV Series, is a mere shadow of what it should have been, instead resorting to a confused muddling mess of bad acting and terrible film work.
The film focuses around Aang, a member of the long lost airbending clan. He awakens in a massive ball of Ice to find that his clan is dead. He is rumored to be the next Avatar, the only individual who can control all of the four elements; air, water, fire and earth.
The Last Airbender‘s best thing going is the action scenes and the special effects. Luckily, since this review is for the DVD/Blu-Ray release, all those at home are spared the terrible 3-D release that was placed into theaters this year. The visuals, especially during the few action scenes that there were, are especially impressive, and its easy to see that a lot of care and effort were put into them.
Everything else in the movie, unfortunately, is bad. There was a high amount of expectation and even optimism heading into the release of this film, and as soon as the film was released, the amount of disappointment was higher than expected. First, the acting. Although several actors with relatively good names act in this film, such as Dev Patel and Cliff Curtis, they are not on screen enough to save the bad acting from the rest of the cast. Noah Ringer (Aang) and Jackson Rathbone (Sokka) are the two that immediately come to mind, and they drastically drag the movie down, switching emotions and only using cardboard-cut lines to advance the plot.
Shamylan’s editing and overall shooting also killed the film. The film goes back and forth, with no real rhyme or reason behind it. The first film focuses exclusively on the first book of the animated series: Water. It’s sad to think that Shamylan had such a good base in which to create his story from, bu managed to pick some of the most uninteresting parts. Or in that same regard, perhaps Shamylan took some of the best parts of that first book, but made them so uninteresting that it killed any momentum that the movie had.
The Last Airbender is a film that turns into an immense disappointment. From the acting to the storyline, a film that is as pretty as its special effects takes it ultimately turns out to be a flop. Rent it if you want, but don’t go in expecting much.