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The Last Airbender (2010)

A movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

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This movie accomplishes it's goal perfectly. That goal is to shamelessly rape it's source material.

  • Dec 16, 2010
  • by
As a great fan of the original animated series, of course I had high expectations for this movie. And it was agonizing.

There are so many problems in this movie that I don't even know how to begin. Let's start with the most obvious. Oh, wait I still don't know what the most obvious is. But well, the first problem that really began to disturb me are the fights. If you've seen the original cartoon you know how awesome the fights are. They are exciting and creative, not to mention that the way the characters fight makes perfect sense. If you haven't seen the original cartoon I'll explain how the benders fight. The waterbender lifts his arm, and the water goes up, he puts his arm down, the water go down, the movements of the element that are being bended flows with the characters movments with perfection. Not in this movie; in here the benders do a five minute long Power Ranger like dance, full of Naruto poses, and AFTER they finish the dance, the water does whatever it wants. There is even a scene where Zuko points his arm one side, and the fire goes to the opposite side. So unlike the cartoon, the fight scenes are boring and make no sense at all. There is even a scene where there are FIVE earthbenders doing a dance, and then I though " Oh, they are going to move something huge! " (because in the cartoon the bigger the thing the character wants to bend, the more effort it takes) and what do I get? A three inches stone moving half a mile per hour, I am NOT kidding. This things just make the fight scenes look ridiculous.

Another things that will annoy both, fans of the cartoon and outsiders are: the characters. First of all the major complain, the cartoon, was made in anime style, and the plot is set in a heavily asian influenced world, the writing of the characters is in an asian language, the drawing are in an asian style, and even the names of the places and characters are asian. This movie has whites, blacks, eskimos, indians but it doesn't have one asian. Why? Becuase teenagers wouldn't see a movie not starred by white people? Actually that's possibly true, since I'm a teenager and the other teenagers seem to like only Hollywood films. One time I was talking to my sister's friend and I mention that i liked a little movie that she never heard of called Spirited Away ( my generation will culturally ruin the world someday, I'm sure ), and that it was Japanese. And she answered like: " You watch Japanese movies, wha's wrong with you?". But I'm losing my point. But you may say, but what about the people in the Southern Water Tribe like Katara's grandmother. Yes they are eskimos like they should be. But Katara and Sokka are white. Plus, the actors can't even pronounce the characters' names right. "Ovatar Ong" and "Sôkka" are some examples. Plus it surprised, how the director managed to transform the wonderful and multi dimmensional characters from the cartoon into that. The worst is Aang, in the cartoon he had a big and fun personality, was a funny and invewntive character that even when trying to have fun all the time, he doesn't forget to get serious when the situation needs to. In the movie, his engaging personality was completely drained and he was transformed in an empty shell that does absolutely nothing in the movie. Sokka was supposed to be a comic relief, a boy who tries to be a brave warrior but its much more funny than awesome, but like Aang he can be awesome when he needs. In the movie he is completely serious, he even tries to be funny, but he just has no sense of humour. Actually, all the characters were supposed to be comic reliefs, Sokka, Aang, and even Zuko's uncle, Iroh. But in here no one does that. And speaking of Iroh, he was supposed to be funny, but also a wise mentor to Zuko. But he is not. And speaking of Zuko he doesn't have a scar, he has a black eye. But the most annoying is that the characters have absolutely no chemestry, and I mean AT ALL. Katara and Aang don'tt even act like friends!

The plot is terrible. I think that mainly that is because of the brilliant idea of telling a 10 hour story in one and half an hour. Two and a half hours at least! The whole story development was taken out, and only the major plot points were kept. This makes things like, when they get to a point of the story where to the audience properly understand that somepart of the story needs to be known by the audience. So the director goes all " Oh my god, we frogot to explain that " so the characters just end up saying completely out-of-place things that sound like really lame Deus ex machinas. The movie does not tell the story. The characters just arrive somewhre and Katara explains, why they are there, what happened before, the explanation to somethinng they forgot to explain earlier, etc. Also. this movie has almost as many plot holes as Atlantis The Lost Empire. For example ( Beware, from now on there will be spoilers, if you don't want to read them, skip to the next paragraph ), at the beginning, when Aang was initially captured by Zuko, to know if Aang is really the Avatar or not. Iroh puts in front of him a stone, some water, and a lit candle. When he puts the objects near him, they began to move, the fire of the candle gets higher, the water moves, the stone lifts and for that they know he is the Avatar. But that is STUPID. for two reasons. if its that easy to know if he is the Avatar or not, why did the monks had to do that toy test? and why does in the course of the movie the stones don't lift when Aang gets near them? Another plot hole: there is a point of the movie where Aang suddenly decides he wants to go to an Air Temple nearby and there Aang is captured by the Fire Nation who was waiting for him. But how did the Fire Benders knew he was going there anyway, that doesn't make any sense at all. Another example: In the cartoon Zuko's ship is exploded by pirates hired by Zhao, in the movie Zuko's ship is exploded by a gas can that was broken over a candle; but later in the movie, Zhao says "But I killed you!" NO YOU DIDN'T, it was a f*ing gas can that was broken strategically over a candle and exploded when Zuko entered the room, you didn't kill him. By the way after the explosion Zuko appears perfectly well when he should be incredibly hurt like in the cartoon. Another example: in the cartoon Firebender can create their own fire, since fire originates from oxygen, in this movie the Firebenders need a source of fire to bend it, like a candle or a torch; OK that's not bad at all; so there's a scene where Iroh creates his own fire and the firebenders go all like " Sh*t he's creating his own fire!" and it is later explained that only extremely experienced firebenders can create their own fire. But there is a scene in this movie where Zuko uses his hands to melt ice. So, WTF? Zuko is not a good bender, in fact he was even banned from his nation because his father was ashamed of him because he was weak and a disappointment. So how could Zuko melt ice with his firebending hands??! But worst of all: by the end of the movie, Aang dominates the Avatar State. Yes, fans will be furious with this, but outsiders, even those who have seen the movie won't understand. Because the movie doesn't explain what the Avatar State is. But for the fans, I'll say this, in the end of the movie, while everybody is battling, Aang just remembers his airbendiner friends and enters Avatar State. IF ITS THAT EASY TO ENTER AVATAR STATE THIS MOVIE SHOULD BE OVER IN TWO SECONDS.

And speaking about ending this movie easily I could win this war. I COULD WIN THIS WAR ALONE" USING ONLY A KNIFE! Because while the firebenders were too busy doing their little gay dance I could kill them one by one and I wouldn't be hurt. I could take out the whole Fire Nation army this way.

The acting is atrocious. Noah Ringer has absolutely no emotions throughout the movie, and it doesn't help that he looks more like a baby than like a 12-year-old boy. The dialogue was agonizing. I'm not kidding when I say I was literally affraid of the next character that would open his/her mouth, because the dialogue was so ridicuolous and agonizing that it made me, a fan of the cartoon, ashamed of being one.

Not even the visual part of the movie seem to work. The cinematography is dark and with the 3D glasses it is almost nearly impossible to see what is going on. The costume design was cheesy, even the Power Ranger costumes look more believable than those. The action scenes were poorly choreographed and the production design is probably the only thing that was slightly above par. The editing was poor too, and while watching this movie it always seems like you missed something.

Not even the special effects are good. It's is not that they were abad but the way they used just seemed cheesy. The only thing that was acceptable in this movie (besides the already mentioned slightly above par production design) is the soundtrack, which I admit, is really good. But I would rather just but the soundtrack album than watching the movie.

I have many more complaints but if listed them all you would keep reading this review for hours (actually, I think this is already my longest review yet, and I didn't evenput a synopsis of the plot like I usually do).

All in all, The Last Airbender is an atrocious experience for both fans of the original cartoon and outsiders. Even the teenagers, the stupid teenagers that like Transformers and Twilight and Percy Jackson and Disaster Movie, I can't imagine even them liking this movie ( even if probably I'm overrating my generation, because the movie has fight and special effects, even if bad they are still there, so yeah, maybe the most stupid of the teenagers will like it ) The Last Airbender served only to piss me off and make me ashamed of being a fan of the cartoon. I just don't want to have nothing to do with this movie and everybody who has, specially you M. Night Shyamalan should go F*uck yourselves. 0,4/10 - Torturous.

PS: the people who have never seen the cartoon but have seen the movie, please don't judge the cartoon by this piece of sh*t. The TV series is a highly entertaining epic with great animation, great characters, amazing writing, delightful soundtrack, awesome action scenes and a coherent and engaging story filled with moments of witty fun and true emotion.

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December 17, 2010
I did not like this movie but was a cure for insomnia. Thanks!
December 16, 2010
I haven't seen it yet, but how ironic that a cartoon series based off of Asian concepts features not a single Asian actor/actress. Sort of like that other pathetic Dragonball movie with a white male lead. Great review Pedro!
December 16, 2010
I haven't seen the Dragonball film yet, but being a fan of the anime myself, I don't intend to see another one of my favorite shows being raped by Hollywood.
December 16, 2010
More The Last Airbender reviews
review by . July 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Indifferent Storytelling and Clumsy Direction Makes This Film Rather Dull!
I have always said that like him or not, M. Night Shymalan makes an effort to try to be original. Yes he does, but lately, it can be said that he is experiencing a sort of a creative slump, that his latest movies have become more of a miss than a hit. The last movie that I really liked from him was “Unbreakable” and that has been such a long time ago. People then began to become disappointed with Shymalan‘s “The Village” and his recent film “The Happening” …
review by . January 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
* out of ****     As if "Lady in the Water" and "The Happening" weren't enough to concern us of director M. Night Shyamalan's current mental state, "The Last Airbender" essentially confirms that the man we once loved has officially gone mad. This is the man's first revoltingly unwatchable feature; merged with that now complete feeling of pretentiousness that's been building up faster and faster as Shyamalan's movies have been getting lamer and lamer. I mean, at least "The Happening" …
review by . December 14, 2010
I have one word respect. None of which is in M. Night Shamalayn's The Last Airbender. Not only does it not give respect towards the original work but there is no respect between the characters in the picture. Watching Airbender made me so nauseous that I felt like throwing up my popcorn. And believe me, it's that bad.      The Last Airbender is the culmination of season 1, dubbed Book 1, of the hit nickelodeon series Avatar: the Last Airbender. Sadly because of the super …
review by . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
1/2 a star :
Long ago in a forgotten land there were four nations Earth, Air, Fire and Water the four fabled nations lived in peace and harmony with one another that is until the ruthless and power hungry fire nation declared war on the three other nations. Only the fabled AVATAR the master of all four elements could stop them but when he was needed the most he vanished, for a hundred years, the Fire nation ruled thinking that the only threat that had   the power to defeat them was long deceased. …
review by . December 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: The opening element montage is directly out of the show     Cons: The humor and rounded characters were left back in the show     The Bottom Line: It's a great late-night movie after a bad day at work.     Zuko: "That... Wasn't a good play."   Aang: "I'll say."   Katara: "No kidding."   Suki: "Horrible."   Toph: "You said it."   Sokka: "But the effects were decent."   Avatar: …
review by . July 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Ever since seeing "The Sixth Sense," my nature has been to resist the films of M. Night Shyamalan. I have to admit that now. I'm aware of his technical skills and his ability to build tension, and yet something within me finds his work profoundly unappealing. I go in with an open mind, but then, minute by minute, it seems as if he's purposely trying to push me away with his unreasonably slow pacing, his amateurish dialogue, his bizarre character development, his ill-fitting sense of humor, and in …
review by . July 06, 2010
The Last Airbender? Could be Possible
The Last airbender is a live action adaptation on a nickelodeon tv show Avatar: The last Airbender. Now the show was devided into three seasons and this film adaptaion was directed by the sixth sense director M. Night Shyamalan. Now i have to say i did like the movie but i can see why other people did not. For those who watched the cartoon the end of season 1 with the water nation vs the fire nation battle was one of the biggest events in the series but i thought the friendship between Sokka …
review by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
When I first heard that this series was being made into a movie I was very excited. Then, however, I learned that M. Night Shyamalan was directing the movie...I was afraid that it would bomb because Shyamalan's latest films have not been the greatest. As soon as the first scene played in front of me, I knew that it was as bad as I expected it to be. First of all, Shyamalan change the pronunciation of many of the character's names. Watching further I found that many of the scenes were precise …
review by . August 30, 2010
If for no other reason, The Last Airbender will bomb in British cinemas for a very childish one: someone forgot to research local playground slang.    At a moment of critical plot exposition early in the film a character motions to the mysteriously tattooed child Aang, who has just demonstrated awe-inspiring mystical skills, and portentously asks an elder:"when did you realise he was a bender?"    What little spell director M. Night Shyamalan had mustered …
review by . December 01, 2010
The Last Airbender staring Dev Patel and Noah Ringer and directed by M. Night Shyamalan is an adventure film that takes place in a fantasy world. There are different tribes and each has the ability to control one of four elements: air, water, earth and fire. The "Avatar" is the one person who can control all four at the same time.       The Avatar disappeared and many believed that he was dead. When a brother and sister find a boy frozen in ice, they soon learn that …
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Member Since: Dec 16, 2010
Last Login: Mar 19, 2011 01:55 PM UTC
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The Last Airbender is an action-adventure fantasy film released on July 2, 2010. It is a live-action film adaptation  based on the first season  of the animated television series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The first of a planned trilogy, it will be produced by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. The series, influenced by Asian art, mythology and various martial arts fighting styles, was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, and was adapted by M. Night Shyamalan, who will also direct and produce the film along with Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Sam Mercer and Scott Aversano. Filming began in mid-March 2009; the movie is scheduled to be released on July 2, 2010 in both traditional two-dimensional projectors, as well as in 3D.

Poster art for "The Last Airbender."

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Runtime: 103 minutes
Studio: Paramount

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"Elemental, My Dear Shyamalan"
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