After asking which of M. Night Shyamalan’s movie is best (Click here to see the poll.) I wondered how this new one would stack up against all the others. I mean, come on, he can’t do any worse than The Happening, right? Fortunately, you can put Shyamalan’s latest, The Last Airbender, in the list of his good movies! (HOORAY!!! Start the celebration!) 🙂 – – -I didn’t say his BEST movies…but I did say “good!”
The Last Airbender is the live-action movie rendition of the very popular Nickelodeon cartoon series based on the quest of Aang as the sole remaining avatar in a beautiful, mystical, and mysterious world. Four nations exist in this world: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. While certain people in each of the nations can control their respective element, Aang, as an avatar, has the ability to harness the power of all four. This makes him a viable threat to the Fire Nation who wants his power…..so…off to war! This movie is all about Aang and his (1) fight to protect the allies and friends he has made in the other nations from impending destruction; and his (2) fight to sharpen his skills in water, earth, and fire since he is already a master of the air!
I enjoyed several things about this film. The cinematography is definitely a strong point! Wow! It is a beautifully shot film! What an eye M. Night has! Although, I’m not really sold on the value of this one being in 3D. The casting worked well and helped me to enjoy the characters. In total contrast to all of Shyamalan’s past movies there is an absence of a “major, big time” actor in this film. I thought that was a nice twist.
The way in which the movie is setup allows for Shyamalan to finish the cartoon series with further sequels. While at the movie, I spoke with a few Airbender fans who voiced their concerns about all of the cartoon seasons possibly being rolled into one movie and ruining it. They were glad to find otherwise. Dedicated fans of the cartoon will either really love this movie or just accept it as another decent attempt to bring a comic/cartoon to the movies.
I wish that the movie, while fun to watch, had a greater balance between backstory and action. Less of the former and more of the latter. But if Shyamalan is going to continue with the series, then I understand his need to lay foundational work to prepare for what may be to follow. The action that is in the movie looks absolutely amazing! At times it lacked that little extra “Umph” that I was hoping for. The slow parts do exist. So as you watch it, don’t be surprised if you find yourself counting the ceiling tiles in the theater from time to time.
Overall, I enjoyed it. Nice to see something completely different from Shyamalan! I wish there was more explanation of certain things in the movie for those of us that never followed the cartoon. I would have liked to see more action. But a great job in setting the stage for future installments. This, I believe, is the greatest success of this film. Nice job, Mr. Shyamalan! Oh! And by the way, M. Night, thank you for not including Haley Joel Osment in this film!
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy watching!
The Spider’s Score: 7 out of 10 stars “The Last Airbender”
this post is dedicated to my friend, The Silk Spectre.
up next: “Trailer Time Thursday”