Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"The Last Airbender"

A lot of my friends were really excited about "The Last Airbender," as it's based off an animated television series called "Avatar" (unrelated to the movie). I haven't seen the animated series but the movie looked like it would be good, and it's 3D as well. However, as with many films these days, I ended up being disappointed.

Aang (newcomer Noah Ringer) has been frozen in ice for the past century, until Katara (Nicola Peltz, "Deck the Halls") and Sokka (Jackson Rathbone, "Eclipse") find him. They soon figure out that Aang is an avatar, which means that he has the ability to manipulate air, water, earth, and fire. However, Aang ran away from his teachers, who were monks, before he learned to bend water, earth, and fire; therefore, he is only an "air bender." Sokka and Katara are from the Water Nation and they offer to find "water bender" teachers for him. The plot gets complicated because Prince Zuko (Dev Patel, "Slumdog Millionaire") of the Fire Nation is seeking to find and capture the avatar so that his father, whom he has disgraced, will welcome Zuko back to the Fire Nation. Katara and Sokka want to prevent this from happening, but inevitably Zuko catches up with them.

There were a lot of things about the movie I liked, and a lot that I didn't. First, the 3D was very poor. I hardly noticed it was in 3D at all except for the on-screen titles. I thought the plot was very interesting, but that they could have done more with it; I checked my watch many times during the movie, even though only has a 1:45 runtime. The big fight at the end was interesting, and the ending definitely sets the movie up for a sequel. I was also pleased to see Jackson Rathbone as a non-vampire (he has been in the past three "Twilight" movies), as he was in a TV series I used to watch, "Beautiful People," which ran from 2005-06. The boy who plays Aang (Noah Ringer) was good in his role as well, but unfortunately, to make a movie interesting and worth watching, the plot has to be interesting as well.

I would say Maybe see this movie. I am not qualified to say how it compares to the animated series, but I would be interested in seeing if it does well at the box office solely because of the series' fans. If a sequel comes out, I might see it, but only if I received tickets to a free screening. In my opinion, the film moved very slowly at times, and parts of it were confusing - it was hard to keep up with all of the nations (Water, Earth, Fire, and Air) and the characters. Fans of the series might like this movie, but to all others, I would suggest finding another film to see.

"The Last Airbender" opens in theaters on July 1st.

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