Sunday, August 29, 2010

[Review] The Last Airbender

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Rating:
Category:Movies
Genre: Kids & Family
Disappointing. Dreadful. Boring. I tell you, don't even bother watching this crappy movie. Good thing I was late for the 3D screening. Else, this review would have become a rant. I waited months for this movie and my expectations were high. M. Night Shyamalan ruined Aang.

Well, alright, let me start with the basics. The Last Airbender is the movie franchise of the Nickelodeon's top animated series. The original title is Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The movie version is focused on the first season that centers on the "Water" element. The story was set in a war-stricken world where the tyrannical Fire Nation ruled. The people hopelessly waited for the one they call the Avatar to bring back peace and order. However, he disappeared 100 years ago. After Katara and Sokka found their generation's Avatar, Aang, they went on a journey to learn how to "bend" the elements, starting with 'water'.

The movie had a disorienting plot. The events were everywhere and it wasn't organized. The pacing was slow. And there were some scene cuts that didn't seem to follow. They were going from one place to another. And they failed to give the transition in that. So, the audience got confused.

The battle scenes were so uncool. There were a lot of soldiers fighting and no drop of blood? Or even injured ones? And what was Aang doing on the last part where he went into the trance-like Avatar State and made a big tidal wave, then later of subsided it? He didn't destroy any Fire Nation ship. What was that all about? I think he was just showing off his powers. Nonsense.

Well, here's another part of the movie that will give you a headache. You don't need to be a good observer to realize that something is definitely wrong with the main characters. Hey, you see a white skinned boy and girl amidst a tribe of Eskimos. But wait! It was only the characters, but the setting and costumes were so out-of-place.

In Nickelodeon's animated version, the Water Tribe were influenced by the Eskimos, the Air Nomads were like HImalayan Monks, The Earth Kingdom were derived from the Asian nations, and the Fire Nation was the combination of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures.

Sadly, the movie didn't follow through on that. But on the bright side, they successfully imitated the buildings as true to the animation. Just like the South Water Tribe's city where everything was ice.

Special Effects were not good. This movie focused on the element of water, but all the water, liquid or ice, in it was obviously fake. The movie was like filmed during the early stages of 3G. The sound effects didn't help either. Yeah, just some orchestral stuff and were pretty average.

So let's talk about the actors. Amongst them all, I could only find one who was successful in portraying the character to the core: Dev Patel as Prince Zuko. I could see in Dev's face the rage, anger, determination, and shame as Nickelodeon's Zuko would. There is just one major error: on his face is supposed to be a fire burnt scar, not a flesh colored black eye.

All the other actors were average. Jackson Rathbone as Sokka was naturally good, but he didn't put into life the real Sokka's funny personality and leadership. Same is true with the others. They were good actors, but not good enough in their respective roles. And the actor Noah Ringer who played Aang, has still a lot more to learn. His acting wasn't convincing at all.

So all in all, this movie sucks. Fans like me expected a lot of this movie. I went into the cinema excited and came out unhappy. Better stick to the animated version then.


Ratings:

Plot: 1 star
Special Effects: 1 star
Sound Effects: 1.5 stars
Actors: 2 stars
Overall: 1 star

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