In Which I Review “The Last Airbender”

For anyone who has ever seen the Nickolodeon show, Avatar: The Last Airbender, the coming of the movie by M. Night was thoroughly exciting. The show, even for kids were already in high school when it came out (ahem, me) was exciting, interesting, and mainly just a really good show. Yes it cheesy at times and the whole “lesson-learning”  prerogative that many kid’s shows have can be a bit overwhelming, but! It was about a boy who could fly around a spinning sphere of air! How cool is that?

So, you see, I was highly interested in the movie. First of all, don’t bother seeing it in 3-D, it’s a complete waste of your money. This film did not take advantage of some of the really cool 3-D tricks that are done with movies these days. You will get the same experience seeing it on a regular screen, and you can buy yourself some pop corn with the money you’ve saved.

The movie begins much the same way the very first episode of the show began, which was a good start, in my opinion. Throughout the film, M.Night made sure to take elements from nearly every episode and work it in, even if he couldn’t do an episode by episode replay in real time. I always appreciate when a film can do this because so many movies that are made from our beloved books chop and hack and tear away at the original story. Okay, so sometimes this is a good thing. But not always. Even the beginning and ending of this film were taken almost exactly from the show.


I loved the action, and I loved the bending. Seriously, it was flipping sweet! Even the physics of the bending was very similar to the show. They did their best to keep it as close to as possible. Little Noah Ringer is a pretty awesome Aang with all of his crazy Airbender moves. Even Katara had some tricks up her sleeve.

So now that I’ve given the good, here’s the bad, or at the very least, the irritating.

C'mon, can't you at least pronounce their names right?

The name pronunciation. I know, what a stupid little thing right? Even if the show did pronounce them wrong. But you know what, even with the people on the show pronouncing the names incorrectly, those pronunciations were the characters from then on, for good or bad. So having the actors pronounce all of the characters names differently than they were in the show, was, in my opinion, a dumb and presumptuous move. That’d be like deciding Hermione (Her-my-owe-knee) should now be pronounced as Her-mee-own. Or Harry is now Hah-rry. I mean, what the hell?

Next: The dialogue. Was. TERRIBLE. M. Night, you probably should have a real writer help you with this one. I commend him for writing the actual screenplay – I’m sure it shows his dedication to the series and wanting it to be as close as possible, but ugh! Voice over? Please. Expositional dialogue? Over it. The lack of goofy-ness in Sokka? The lack of 12 year old childishness in Aang? Help your fans out here, M. Night. Those qualities are part of what made the show and you’ve left them out completely.

Lastly: Casting. Not everyone – in fact, I thought the girl who played Katara was actually really good and Dev Patel as Zuko was intense and spot on. But the girl playing Princess Yue, or Seychelle Gabriel made me want to gag.

I might puke a little.

They seriously could not find someone better? Why? I’m sure they had many girls lining up to be cast in this film, and this is the one they picked? They could have done so much better but they bombed that one. And honestly, I didn’t have a real issue with Jackson Rathbone as Sokka, despite my utter hatred for Twilight, but he was kind of just…there. Not all of that is his fault – as I said before, M.Night’s dialogue wasn’t really conducive to interesting acting. I think he had one funny moment and the rest was…yawn. Which distressed me because Sokka is such a lively, funny character on the show.

So there you have it. The Last Airbender. If you’re a fan of the show, I would honestly wait for this one on DVD.  And if you have to see it in theaters, see it for the sweet Bending and for Dev Patel. Ignore Princess Yue – not like she’s very interesting anyway.

6 Responses to “In Which I Review “The Last Airbender””
  1. sof says:

    interesting post !!!

  2. Pessimistic old me was thinking that this was going to be irritating anyway – I can’t imagine Dev Patel as a bad guy and with a blockbuster you just know the dialogue is going to be wooden.
    Great review 🙂

    • Well to be honest, Dev Patel was actually pretty good as a bad guy! But yeah, all in all, I’d say go watch the cartoon and you’ll be far happier : ) Thanks for commenting!

  3. If it weren’t for reviews like these I’d have wasted precious time in the theater on this one. I’m not even sure if I want to see it at all. Although, I am intrigued with Dev Patel’s performance.

    • Yeah, might be best to stick with the cartoon. Dev Patel’s performance isn’t anything to write home about, just one of the better parts of the movie : ) See it on netflix if you have to see it at all!

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