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02 July 2010 @ 10:56 am
Last Airbender Movie Review  
When I first heard about The Last Airbender, I was unsure because of the director. I was really worried about how things would end up since M. Night wasn't doing so well with his current stories, but all of that overrode my intense feelings of wanting to see the movie so badly. I love Avatar: the Last Airbender--and back then, I was furious that I would have to wait for so long before it came out---it made me angry that Twilight would come out first considering all things.

I went to the movie theater with my friend, expecting the worst because of the reviews I've read/watched. It didn't help that Rotten Tomatoes had rated Last Airbender a 6%. I wanted to like the movie, I really did, and as a fan--I did.

To my dismay, as a moviegoer, it was bad. It's not as bad as Dragonball Evolution or the Forbidden Kingdom IMO (or it might be on parr with Forbidden Kingdom) but it was still bad. The pacing and transitions sucked, the dialogue was cheesy, and there was no character development. I thought Nicola's acting for Katara was lackluster. She couldn't seem to get into her role, and it seemed like she was just reading the script but not feeling it. Some of the voice overs got annoying, but not too much. Katara does point out several things that we are shown and could figure out for ourselves--like them traveling from town to town helping people and Sokka and Yue had become close. Sokka, Aang, and Yue's actors were okay in my opinion. And I thought Dev Patel as Zuko was really really good--although Uncle Iroh's actor did a little better. Zhao...a lot of people have complained about him--but I didn't notice his eyes bulging so I can't say he was bad.

I felt the movie didn't have enough time and it was rushed. It did bother me that the characters had little interaction with each other, and that there weren't really any big duels. It makes me sad that Aang's not really shown as the "happy-go-lucky" kid that he is, and that he's angsting about being the Avatar for another reason. I understand why Sokka's humor was gone, but he's pretty bland too--although I have to say Katara's role was really minute. My friend says that the movie would have been the same without her and I think she's right. She like had no role except to be the girl. Also the Gaang don't even act like their friends, they're each others "responsibility" instead.

The bending/effects and background was well done IMO. It did make me a little annoyed that the benders had to do several tai chi moves or whatever before their element even moved. In the show, when you moved the element moved with you...it takes a while in the movie. While it pissed off a lot of people that characters were cut--I thought that it was a smart move to do so. There's no way we could have all of them show up--and frankly, I'd rather not have this movie try to make as many cameos as they can--if they can better the quality of the movie. It makes me mad and sad that the movie had so much potential and yet it wasn't carried out. The name pronouncation didn't bother me as much as I thought it would be--and if you're going to see this movie, that will be the least of your problems. Iroh's name pronouncation did bother me a little b'cuz it made me laugh. Sokka's name pronouncation didn't bother me at first b'cuz that's how I used to pronounce his name and I went, "Isn't this based off of Asia? It should be pronounced Soh-ka!" and I've heard Aang's name pronounced "Ong" in the Japanese dub and somewhere else...so it didn't bother me too.

I hated how M. Night changed why Aang doesn't want to be the Avatar--the reasons in the show isn't good enough? Also if Avatars can't have families how is M. Night gonna handle the Roku is Zuko's great-grandfather? Is he not doing that then? And what's up with the lack of Kataang? Like my friend points out, Aang was enamoured with Katara the moment he met her--and yet that's not happening in the movie. Zuko and Katara had more chemistry than that! I know that M. Night is a fan of Zuko--but is he a Zutarian as well? It's kinda obvious in the movie that he loves Iroh and Zuko, b'cuz they're the only ones with any depth in them. And Azula--everyone seems to think her scene was great, but Azula's my absolute favorite character and I don't want her ruined.

I'm afraid the actress won't do her justice. And the smirk? To me, it seemed like she was hesitating in the smirk cuz she changed it several times. And creepy? No comment. If there is a sequel, hopefully she is good and hopefully the movie is a lot better. I'm not gonna lie, I want a sequel--maybe with a different writer--but I want a sequel b'cuz S2 was the best season and it had Toph and Azula. I thought it was really nice that they did the Sozin's Comet in "three years" instead of one year. I also thought it was great that Ozai was the villain here while the Zhao was like a pawn. I think it's really important to build up Ozai's "evilness" if the movie ever gets their sequels. In season 3, Ozai was kind of a let down compared to his daughter because we didn't see him do much for the last two seasons. Zhao and Azula seemed to have outshined him as a villain, and here, Ozai's the one supporting Zhao in his misdeeds--saying it was all right to kill the Moon Spirit. Although I was curious as to what M. Night wanted from Ozai as a father--b'cuz Ozai seems to care a little bit about his son, ordering Zhao that Zuko was not to be harmed and that he was to be left alone (of course Zhao didn't listen). Oh and is it just me, but does Zhao travel between the EK and the FN too fast and quickly? Does he FLY there or what? B'cuz half of Zhao's scenes involved the FN and Ozai. I guess the four nations aren't all that far apart in the movieverse. 

So if you're a fan of Avatar--don't watch it expecting it to be great or an extension of our beloved animated series--watch it for the sake of seeing the characters, the Avatarverse, and the bending in live-action (that's why as a fan I enjoyed the movie). Don't expect much. The long wait wasn't worth it.