Earth, Wind, and Fire at the Movies?!!!

…and water! all four of the elements in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender!

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 Score7 out of 10 stars “The Last Airbender”

this post is dedicated to my friend, The Silk Spectre.

up next: “Trailer Time Thursday”

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8 comments

  1. okay dude…. I saw the movie last night and I have a bone to pick with you. =) IMO, I would have given the movie a 3, maybe a 2. Being an avid avatar: last airbender watcher, I felt that the movie lacked a coherent story line. In addition, there are many things that felt off and were incorrect. Now granted, a director should make the movie “his/her” own, but this movie definitely needed more attention to the basic progression of the plot instead of jumping from place to place without the audience really knowing what was going on. Having watched the animated series, I knew the story line and how it should have progressed. I can only imagine how non-Avatar watchers felt. Having said that I am am planning on email M. Night for a refund of my ticket.

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    • I am glad to know your thoughts. I never watched the series (as stated in the review) and therefore cannot view it the same. Glad to have your insight. Thanks for your comment. BTW- lemme know if u get that refund. If so, I’ll be sending off for mine from Splice! 🙂 Happy watching! -The Scarletsp1der

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  2. I agree w/ Epi, also as an avid Avatar fan I agree that the Movie was only a 2 star film if that. The action was very good but the story progression, plot, and character development was seriously lacking. I really hated the voice overs throughout the movie. It felt like to me they added the voice over to help guide the story with what they didn’t bother to shoot. I didn’t like the movies obvious logical contradictions that the move itself established.

    I hear that M. Night wants to make this the new ‘starwars’, apparently he ment the prequels because this movie has been given the Phantom menace treatment; we are told to care about situations but never are we shown any reason to develop a connection.

    I hope that books 2 and 3 will be better but, I have very little confidence in that hope. M. Night seems to have lost his way, Once upon a time his ideas and film style were revolutionary but after ‘The Happening’ it feels he has lost his way and this movie only shows that he is still looking for it.

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    • Thanks for your comment! It is interesting to see some Avatar fans that LOVED the movie and others that despised it. M. Night is rumored to be working on Book2 possibly Unbreakable2 (but I don’t think the Unbreakable2 is really going to happen.) Happy watching!

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  3. I have also sen the cartoon series, and when i saw the trailer i immediately had my doubts. It seemed like Shyamalan forgot the humor of the cartoon series, which i felt was a key aspect of the cartoon.

    I might watch this if it becomes available for streaming. And btw i just discovered you had all your reviews archived, which is why i commented on a old ones.

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    • You know what? You hit the nail on the head. the comedy of the cartoon is missing from the film! Absolutely correct! I’m surprised that no one else has mentioned that on the site or in person to me. It makes sense though! Thanks for that!

      Glad you found TheScarletSp1der’s WEB (List of reviews)!! Thanks for reading and commenting on them.

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