Movie Review | The Last Airbender

Tuesday 15 August 2017

The other week I sat down to watch some TV and was going through the TV guide only to see the most dreaded movie title ever "The Last Airbender" (it came out around 7 years ago now) a lot of you won't know this but I love the TV show I spent many days with a friend watching them and that was the start of my love for Aang and his journey to learn all 4 elements of air bending. The show alone is brilliant and the characters had so much life about them, they made the show what it was with the humour and how they progressed within the story. I know a lot of the time adaptions don't always live up to the expectations of the TV show or book and in this case that is what happened, the fact that they tried to fit 3 seasons of the TV show into one movie was a push to say the least, I was under the impression that it would have been made into maybe three movies but that wasn't the case. they squashed all 61 episodes into one movie which made it feel rushed and boring. They had the chance to make this movie into something great and it had all the right elements for that thanks to the TV show and it's great story lines. 

The Last Airbender (they removed Avatar from the start of it for some unknown reason) is a story about a young monk called Aang set in the world of four nations, he is the only surviving Airbender, a lot of people believe that Aang is the future Avatar, he is meant to know how to manipulate 4 different elements, air, water, fire and earth. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to learn all 4 elements yet and with the help of his new southern friends (who end up finding him in ice 100 years after he runs away from the monks) Katara and Sokka, Aang seeks to find out how to learn to bend water, earth and fire. Whilst the 3 search for someone (or several people) to teach Aang the 3 other elements they have the fire nation hot on their tails, the fire prince (Zuko) wants to capture Aang and give him to his father who had exiled him, in order for his father to allow him to come back he must capture Aang for him with the help of the fire lord Ozai.

                 Aang                                Zuko                               Katara                              Sokka

For those, like me, who watched the series you will notice a huge difference, something that ended up bugging me throughout the whole of the movie, they whitewashed the whole movie. Some people may not see a problem with this but considering the characters in the TV show are Asian, making them white was the worst move they could have done, I know so many people who were annoyed by this choice and felt that it was what ruined it (along with it being rushed). The writers missed a huge opportunity to cast characters that fit the mould perfectly for this movie, not sure how they thought making most of the main characters white was the best choice for the movie, to be honest, the fight scenes had no excitement to them and the kung fu performed is more than cheesy to watch!

The trailer for this movie promised more than it gave, yes I knew that it would be white washed but I still wanted to see how it would pan out, this was one of M. Night Shyamalan most disappointing movies yet, the acting was terrible and felt forced there was no humour in it like the series has and the best thing about it was the special effects and Dev Patel playing Zuko. If you're a fan of the series you will definitely see why I don't like it and why it felt so rushed and bland, to top it off they said Aang's name wrong throughout the whole of the movie. I hope they never make a sequel to this I know that's harsh but it wouldn't be worth it. I do however recommend the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender and the spin off to it called The Legend of Korra.

Elle May


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