The Last Airbender, A Review an Opinion & A (Good) Warning

by on December 11, 2010

in Entertainment, movie reviews

The Last Airbender movie poster

This movie review of The Last Airbender was a learning experience and of course, an eye opener. I came into it with one mindset and when it was done, I had a different take on the movie altogether. My movie review got easier because in the end, just know that I think your kids will love the movie, though you may have to be answering some questions after it “ends.”

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Imagine a hundred years has passed when you only thought it was a few days, that can’t fell good. And neither did it to Aang, in The Last Airbender.

The Last Airbender was written, directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan and starred Noah Ringer as Aang, Jackson Rathbone, Dev Patel and Nicola Peltz.

The movie is about Aang, the only living successor of a line of Avatars (no, not the blue ones), who had run away from his training temple because he was afraid of the responsibility of what being an Avatar encompassed.

When Aang ran away, he didn’t realize he was actually gone for more than just a few days. He had disappeared for one hundred years. Now, he is the only Avatar left.

Nicola Peltz and Noah Ringer in The Last Airbender

In his absence, the pesky Fire Nation has been working at taking over the world and Aang realizes that he must not only fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, but that he needs to learn the things he would have been taught if he had not run away.

And he has very little time to do it.

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Bad Move To Review it Like an Adult

M Night Shyamalan - The Last Airbender

When The Last Airbender came out, I received a lot of press material and gave it as much support as I could. But as time went on I saw the online community start to trash the movie and M. Night Shyamalan. I came away from all the press thinking this is Shyamalan will never work again. LOL.

I didn’t have anything to compare their opinions to because I had not seen the movie and it colored my perspectives.

Now I’m all about avoiding movies with post-production 3D efforts. I don’t want to waste my time and money. Even in Airbender you can see where they went out of their way to take advantage, or show off the 3D in the opening credits where there are a few of the standard, hokey visuals where things fly at the viewer.

As the movie progressed I honestly started griping internally about it from almost the first moment. Looking at it through my adult eyes all I saw was stiff acting, plot pulled out of the air, action that was stiffly staged. But then I stopped my internal dialog and came to an interesting perspective on The Last Airbender

It’s For The Kids!

This movie is made for the kids that were in the theaters and will be watching it from many a living room couch and floor. Not adults. Duh.

The moment I stopped being critical of the stiff presentation of the subject, the semi-empty acting and stop motion, kata-filled action scenes, I tapped into my inner-child and realized that this movie is totally enjoyable for the younger people in our society.

The Last Airbender - Appa - movie still

They’re not going to gripe about the lousy presentation and predictable lines. They’re going to soak up how cool it is that these people can command the elements by waving their arms. They’re going to envy the kids that ride around in the air on a huge flying, furry things! They’re going to eat up that when Aang powers up, the power of his magic glows in his eyes and on the magic symbols on their heads. They’re going to love the translation of their favorite cartoon.

Once I recognized this, the movie became more of a fun experience understanding who this was for.

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What Questions???

Earlier I said you might be fielding questions from the little ones. The only thing I won’t really let slide with The Last Airbender is that the movie ends as if there’s another episode coming out next week. Me, I’d rather have my movies wrap it up, not have an open ending. Because if there is never a second movie, I’m not left hanging for the rest of my natural born life!!!

Movie End Spoiler Alert:

[spoiler effect=”simple”]It ends with Aang confronting the one thing he feared, and that’s being looked up to and accepting his responsibility. And it showed on his face. The same fear that first drove him to run away. It also ended with the Fire tribe chief’s daughter being set up to do what it is that’s necessary to get the job done. Whatever that is.[/spoiler]

End Spoiler.

Other wise, I think that The Last Airbender is a great family evening spent together!

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