The Last Airbender (PG)

Film

Family films

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>1</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Aug 10 2010

If M Night Shyamalan’s po-faced fantasy epic were half as much fun as its ridiculous title suggests, it might have been possible to salvage a smidgen of entertainment from it. Instead, one is bored and stupefied by what seems like an eternity of vacuous spectacle, cod-Buddhist tosh and clunking dialogue. Even more embarrassing than the risible ‘Lady in the Water’, this wildly misjudged farrago is portentous but never profound, laughable but not remotely funny and action-packed without ever being exciting – all in fuzzy, retro-fitted 3D.

Having been awol for 100 years – during which time the world was thrown out of balance (yawn) and the bellicose Fire Nation conquered the peaceful Southern Water Tribe with their fearsome war machines – the shaven-headed Aang (Noah Ringer) is released from a sphere of ice by two Water Tribe children, Katara (Nicola Peltz) and her older brother Sokka (Jackson Rathbone). It looks like Aang may be the mythical Avatar, the only being who can control all four elements: Earth, Fire, Water and Air. Various interested parties, including the Fire Nation’s vengeful, exiled Prince Zuko (Dev Patel), are determined to harness or suppress the Avatar’s powers.

A series of confusing adventures, explosive battles and vaguely spiritual confrontations follows, while giant furry creatures float in the air, talking dragon spirits offer sage advice, and the moon turns red with shame. Devotees of the original Nickleodeon animated TV series swear this film adaptation is a travesty of its meaningful, allegorical themes – but most of them were aged between six and 12 when they first saw it. Either way, if your actual or mental  age exceeds this, steer well clear.
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Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

Fri Aug 13, 2010

Duration:

103 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

M Night Shyamalan

Screenwriter:

M Night Shyamalan

Cast:

Jackson Rathbone, Dev Patel, Cliff Curtis

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
LiveReviews|12
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MarianA

I agree with you that the movie is terrible: the actors are terrible (a few do a somewhat decent job), the pacing is terrible, the writing is terrible and the action scenes were stupid. Everything about this movie is terrible! But really, if you haven't seen the show then don't say anything about it! The show deals with serious issues such as child abuse, animal abuse, murder, war etc. The show challenges kids, makes them think and kids (without knowing it) like it! So beofore you make a statement about something, make sure you actually know something about it ;)

Aerie

I guess you've never even tried to watch an episode of the show from your review. I fully agree that the movie was flat and boring. It took none of the comedic humor of the original show but it also failed to pick up the tact the original had with more serious issues. Genocide and xenophobic nationalism. The deaths of friends and loved ones. Political upheaval, brainwash, torture, and growing into your own person. We watched the gaang grow up. The dialogue between the characters was believeable and you truly felt for the characters especially Zuko, the anti-hero of the series. Zuko in particular was very fun to watch. We met him as a boy who was angry with the world, obsessed with "reclaiming his honor." And it wasn't until much later that we learned what that meant. He became increasingly more sympathetic and his roll as the blue spirit was intriguing. His sister made for an excellent villain and brought up another dark point of the story, as she was, most definitely, a borderline psychopath. The live action movie, however, was a disaster. I felt nothing for any of the other characters....it was bad enough that they mispronounced Aang. I didn't feel the impact of even Yue's death in this version, which actually brought home the idea that people were going to die in this war and not always the bad ones either. The effects were the only thing that was even ever so slightly decent. In the end the movie failed to even give the characters the same personalities. There was no humor in a story that has some of the funniest things I've ever seen in the cartoon. It deserves maybe a half a stat whereas the original was at least an 8 if not a 9/10. With the only problem I had being the somewhat forced feeling to some of the pairings and the occasional cheesy episode that had me rolling my eyes. (Looking at you Avatar Day and parts of Tales of Ba Sing Se) Honestly though if you really think this series is completely childish though, try doing a little more research before you blab and looking at the Di Lee or Princess Azula's story.

raihan

this film is cool i liked the footage its like its real its the best film ever and at last the best one of seen

raihan

this film is cool i liked the footage its like its real its the best film ever and at last the best one of seen

Bobby

I'm 23 and I really like the animated series. Okay the big plot was somewhat cheesy but the episodes and sub-stories were very good. Plus it had lots of humor. The movie however, was a big let-down. I was almost ashamed when I walked out of the theathre that I went to see such a shallow and childish movie. I was especcialy disappointed that uncle Iroh was turned into a rather serious elderly and slim profile uncle. I loved the round-belleyd, silly tea-sipping old man from the series. Sigh.

Heather Leonard

I was rather apprehensive to go watch this film as Shyamalans last few films, such as, The Happening were complete rubbish..I have to say though..this film blew me AWAY!! It was fantastic and I'll be watching it AGAIN!! Its about time he brought a decent film out and I can honestly say I'm well and truely itching for the next part of the Air Bender story already!! A great film!! Go watch it and ignore bad reviews...make up your own mind!! Truely Great!

Heather Leonard

I was rather apprehensive to go watch this film as Shyamalans last few films, such as, The Happening were complete rubbish..I have to say though..this film blew me AWAY!! It was fantastic and I'll be watching it AGAIN!! Its about time he brought a decent film out and I can honestly say I'm well and truely itching for the next part of the Air Bender story already!! A great film!! Go watch it and ignore bad reviews...make up your own mind!! Truely Great!

Samuels

I first watched The Last Airbender when I was seventeen. I'm twenty now and still advocate it as a landmark for American television series. An animated show that appeals to a broad audience, be it child, teen or adult? I thought that was Japan's territory! You wouldn't guess it by this movie, though, of which I'm thrilled you denounced. Shymalan can take his insufferable ego elsewhere before he destroys any more potential.

andrew

Yes, the film is terrible, but the 'six to twelve' comment was sloppy. The original cartoon was made very recently - it played from 2005 to 2008 - and has plenty of older fans, as a quick google would have shown. (Roger Ebert for one.)

Daniel

Caught this in the States, I was really pumped as I'm a fan of the cartoon. How Shyamalan could screw this up is beyond me. How many stinkers has he made in a row now? "The Village", "Lady in the Water", "The Happening" and now "Last Airbender". How the hell does he still get work? Unbelievable