The Last Airbender Movie Review
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In an effort to best gauge and analyze reactions to M Night Shyamalans’ The Last Airbender I interviewed 3 different types of Avatar The Last Airbender Fans, namely:
- People who have never watched the cartoon before
- Mediocre fans (off and on watchers of the show)
- Avid to Extreme fans
It was very interesting to see the reactions from these different types of people, and interesting enough all 3 mentioned similar things which will be discussed in this review.
This review is meant as Constructive feedback for M Night Shyamalan and to inform people what to expect for the movie.
**SPECIAL NOTE** If you have never heard of Avatar The Last Airbender before, this review is about The Last Airbender (the Movie) it is”Â NOT a review of the cartoon show which is one of the greatest works of art (on all levels) ever made. Check out our Avatar Episodes page to Watch Avatar Online
- A movie of many firsts for M Night Shyamalan
- Mistakes with The Last Airbender Movie
- Things The Last Airbender hit Spot on!
A movie of many firsts for M Night Shyamalan
The Last Airbender was a movie that required Night to do things he had never done before; His first movie which he didn’t write the original storyline, first movie that required CGI special effects, his first Action Adventure, and first family film.
Compound this with the fact that Nights movie is compared with the best of the best (Avatar The Last Airbender the cartoon), as well as Night taking on triple duty being the movies Writer, Producer, and Director. (Which he really needs to ask for some help, perhaps hand the writing off to someone else, or get assistance with the writing).”Â ”Â In the words of wise Iroh to Toph”Â -You are like Zuko, you think you need to do it all on your own, when you don’t realize all of the great help that can surround you”. (paraphrased).
I believe these hurdles facing Night caused him to get scatter-brained and overwhelmed with this Massive project.
Mistakes with The Last Airbender movie
While interviewing people about the movie I compiled a list of things that bothered people most about the movie:
1. Name Pronunciation changes – I still don’t completely know what Night hoped to achieve by changing the pronunciation of the names, but if it was to make fans of the show happy, he couldn’t have missed the mark any further…”Â While I was watching the movie every time Sokka, Avatar, or Iroh, was mis-pronounced people sitting behind me would smack themselves in the forehead in frustration (most everyone thought that the actors simply didn’t know how to correctly pronounce the names).”Â If he needed to change the pronunciations to satisfy some demographic, I wonder if it’s possible to do multiple pronunciation recordings? That single thing caused a TON of friction with viewers.
2. Rushed Story, Cheesy Dialogue and Pacing – The beginning 3/4′s of the movie was pretty choppy and just glazed over a summary of everything, sure it’s understandable that he has to cut some parts out compressing 21 episodes into under 2 hours, but it seemed to just suddenly jump from place to place with little to no character development. Most of the people I interviewed who had never seen the cartoon series before had absolutely no idea what was going on.”Â Other movies have been able to compress large stories into a short movie in an understandable way (Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc..) M Night should seriously think about having another writer assist him with the writing and plot.”Â It shows courage to admit when you need help and then accept that help to get something amazing created, Night shouldn’t try and do this all on his own or he will be overwhelmed with the large scope of the story (like he seemed to be in this one).
3. Aang was too serious – Having never before acting in his life, Noah Ringer did a respectable job (his Martial Arts was pretty cool), but events with him were to life-less and overall he was to serious, hopefully with Noah Ringer being in a new movie (Cowboys and Aliens), he can get some acting training and his performance can improve and his dialogue can be less serious.
4. Sokka also too serious – The comedy directed at Sokka was actually pretty good and timely (especially at the beginning), but Sokka himself seemed to be -trying not to laugh, while being extremely serious”. Sokkas dialogue needs alot of re-thinking.”Â I think Jackson Rathbone did ok, he just needed more to go off of to allow his natural humor out.
5. To much martial arts before the bending – While the bending was absolutely amazing, several scenes with the bending had the actors doing a ton of martial arts without any bending happening and then suddenly the bending would just start happening.”Â The Pakku nun-chuck thing was AWESOME! all of the bending scenes should have been like that.”Â Less dancing style flamboyant martial arts and more bending.
6. Thank you Captain Obvious – Obvious statements such as -You can bend Air!” by Sokka or -This must be a training ground!” by Aang were too obvious and ridiculously cheesy, if the cartoon didn’t need to be extremely obvious … the movie doesn’t need to be either.
7. Additional Plot added with important plots removed – the scenes of Aang actively attacking Fire Nation inside of the Earth Nation never happened in the show, quite to the contrary Aang and Gang were sneaking around hiding from the firenation, even into the second and third seasons! Also the amazing Agni Kai scene between Zhao and Zuko never happened
8. The fight scenes at the end were amazing, like Zuko vs. Katara, Aang vs. Zuko, but they were only 10-15 seconds long! additional length with those would have been good.
9. The Movie could’ve used and extra hour or so (as long as that extra hour was good).
Well that’s it for all the major mistake that people told me they had with the show.”Â Now we’ll talk about what worked well.
Things that The Last Airbender hit spot on!
1. The Last Airbender visually looked amazing! The scenery, the bending, the Oceans, and I especially liked the Firenation ships. Yes The Last Airbender all looked fantastic, I don’t think anything needs to be improved there.
2. The Blue Spirit scene was great! (albeit too short)
3. As stated before the Pakku Nunchuck scene was fantastic, the fight between Zuko and Katara was also amazing.”Â I loved the final fight between Zuko and Aang as well.
4. Appa and Momo looked amazing. (we needed to see more of them though).
5. I loved the dynamics and comedy between Sokka and Katara (the few scenes that had it)
6. From what I saw of Azula she seemed to be a good fit for the character.
7. Zuko and Iroh were portrayed decently.
All in all I’m glad M Night decided to make The Last Airbender, at the very least it is a fantastic tribute to the show (which Night himself is a major fan of).
I do hope Night gets a chance to make the second one (so long as he listens to feedback and makes changes, he also should get some help with the writing and not try to hoard it all to himself).
Other Reviews M Night and Fans should read:
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