Friday, 17 September 2010

Tets goes to see The Last Airbender in 3-D....

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.... M Knight Shyamalan if that is your real name... What has happened here then? I think he may have spent some time in the Michael Bay school of direction.

As I enjoy a bit of 3-D movie goodness I went and saw this movie. Having not seen any of the Avatar cartoon, I had little information on the story except that some sort of control of the elements would be going on. I was a bit dubious, as M is more known for his movies with a twist rather than the kiddie action movie.

I was right to be concerned. Even though I enjoyed the Sixth Sense quite a bit, there was nothing in the direction that made me think it was brilliant. Airbender here is a bit of a shambles. The 3-D must have been done in post production as it is nice but doesn't really seem all that great. As a result, if you want to save some cash, you won't miss much by seeing the normal version. Lets face it, this movie is so bad you won't miss much if you skip the whole thing.

The actors, mostly kids do an adequate job. They won't get and nominations for anything, but it does the trick. The kung fu action is cool, especially when combined with the elemental effects, but there are sections that just feel clunky and dare I say it, amateurish.

One scene that stood out was this bit where Airbender was chatting to his mates, and the framing was so close on their faces, to the point of cutting their chins and foreheads off the screen, I thought we had the wrong program in the projector. Sadly this wasn't the case and the section went on for too long and all it added was the characters chatting to proceed the plot. All in all, it was terribly awkward. That was the start, then there is the issue of timing. It's very hard to tell how long a certain section is taking. One minute the Airbender is whining that he can't have a family and can't be a leader, the next he is in the Earthbenders zone where they are all captives of the Firebenders giving them a pep-talk.

The firebenders are the bad guys in this and despite fire not being an element (which we will ignore) they are probably the weakest of the elements. Let us have a look. Air can blow out fire. Water can douse fire. Earth can smother fire. The firebenders can't yet produce their own sources of fire either. Therefore I find it implausible that the firebenders have conquered the lands of the earth benders. Indeed, in the prison camp that houses the Earthbenders where Aang (the airbenders name I think) makes his pep talk, there is a bonfire which the firebenders use as their source of fire. Why the Earthys just dump a heap of earth on the fire and then beat the crap out of the 5 or so guards I don't know.

Next up, our heroes need to go to the northern watertribe so Aang can learn to control water. This tribe is in the ocean, and lives on a city of Ice. Plenty of water for them to use, yet when the Fire fellows rock up, the water folk get a thorough pasting.... add to this the situation that one of Aang's mates gets the hots for the Princess of the Water tribe and then all of sudden he is dating her. WHA? When did that happen? Apparently there was some throw away reference to two weeks passing. I missed that bit. Just like a lot of the timing in this. Throw away reference to explain stuff.

The film flows badly and is filled with lame and lazy techniques. I especially hated the ending when the fire king is talking to his daughter and she is smiling and laughing like a crazy person.... sigh. How stereotypical. The final nail in the coffin in this movie is it appears to be a part of a trilogy, as it ends only at the point of Aang accepting his responsibility as the Avatar, the one who can control all the elements. Sigh.

There are some good things. The special effects are very cool, except the best bits have been shown in the trailers and the elemental use is generally well done, the previews, credits and when I turned off the projector.

This movie is bad. Bloody awful.


  1. Oh man you HAVEN"T seen Avatar: The Last Airbender series? And went to see the movie? Sir I highly recommend you see a well crafted animated series to wash out Shyamalan's horrible mistake.

  2. The temptation of 3-d funkyness was all I needed to be sucked in. The trailer made it look ok as well. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it :-p. Avatar the cartoon is now on my 'to watch' list as many have echoed your sentiment.

  3. ok here we go. the movie was an epic fail. EPIC FAIL. why the heck did they have M. Night do this movie? Who came up with that idea. i got it for christmas last year and watched halfway through and said, "no!" Avatar the lastairbender was a comedic cartoon and aang wasn't the depressed kid he was in the movie. he loved to have fun but Shyalaman crapped all over it. the last airbender is supposed to be for kids and it was given to the dude who made the village

  4. + you can't make a whole tv series into one movie and be successful

    1. it was meant to be a trilogy, but judging about us having heard nothing, I'd say most people felt the same way about as I did.


Comments under moderation until I find around this spam thing.