Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Last Airbender Movie Review

I enjoy adaptations, from whatever form to whatever form, I love almost all of them, whether its book to movie ( Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) comics to movies ( Hulk, Batman, Avengers) or books into TV shows ( Game of Thrones) A good adaptation is a chance to enjoy the same story A second time on a different medium.

So when I heard there would be a movie adaptation of one of the best cartoons to ever come out, I couldn't help but be excited, Avatar was an incredible show and was followed by the equally impressive Legend of Korra, but lets stick to the movie for now.

I didn't see the movie when it first came out, but I read many... less than flattering interviews about it, criticising pretty much everything about the movie, honestly nothing about this movie was spared from the wrath of critics, but hey they aren't true fans like I am so they probably wouldn't enjoy the movie like I would right?

Oh how wrong I was...

Its really hard to tell what causes this movie to fall apart so spectacularly,  I wish I could say something good about this movie to start the review, some small redeeming factor that makes it watchable at least yet sadly there just isn't anything good here.

I suppose it has an awesome poster.
To begin with, characters names are changed for no reason whatsoever. Aang becomes Ong and he's no longer the Avatar, oh no that's just too easy, he is now Ong the Ovotar although some people still refer to him as Aang or the Avatar which is even more confusing.

But those are just names right? I mean they may change their names but their still the same characters...or so I hoped, for no logical reason every character's race was changed, the water tribe becomes a race of white people instead of Inuits, the Fire Nation which is a Chinese dynasty in the cartoon has suddenly become Indian and the earth benders have now become Chinese instead, I find it hard to believe that whoever did the casting for this movie was sober at the time.

They look just like their animated version.
Perhaps these new faces were picked because they can bring the original characters to life or something, if that was the plan well that failed as well as nobody really pulls of their role well to be honest, Ong is boring to be blunt, Sokka isn't funny, Zuko's scar healed at some point and Katara doesnt have her hair loopies :/

So the characters fail, what next is there? the story of Avatar feels incredibly rushed, it would have been anyways no matter what they did probably, trying to squeeze 20 episodes into an hour and a half just wasn't going to work to begin with and because of that many iconic scenes were either rushed or entirely removed.
Fans of the show will be able to follow the story, but I don't expect anyone to convert into an avatar fan because of this movie.

Mouths wide open.
I suppose only action is left to talk about, the movie mixes martial arts and CGI bending for fight scenes to produce something that's very lacking, to bend any small amount of anything benders have to dance for 6-7 moves before a pebble moves which is very different from the smoothness of the cartoon series, not only that but a major point of change is how Firebenders cant produce their own source of fire, meaning they carry torches into battle to bend, yet nobody targets these sources for some reason, in one scene three fire benders bend from a lantern that they have no way to defend should someone actually put it out, but nobody does. In the movie's final battle the Waterbenders know they will be attacked but they don't put out the fires in their city for some reason, such plot holes don't help this movie at all.

Easily the best part of the movie.
So in conclusion, should you watch this movie?
well whenever someone asks me if they should watch this movie I always tell them.


Oddly enough, I'd say yes because its entertaining in its badness, it may have no redeeming qualities but any fan of the show should watch it just to see how bad it can be, watching this movie with friends really makes it tolerable, I watched it with my brother and pointing out every mistake the movie makes can be quite fun, make it a drinking game and you'll be out like a light within the first 10 minutes.

I give Avatar the Last Airbender a 0.5/5 ( But I still recommend you watch it for yourselves).