The Last Airbender
The air bender known as Aang (Noah Ringer), has had a very shitty century. You see, after spending one hundred years in a block of ice, the water bender, Katara (Nicola Peltz), and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), free him. Then, the fire bender, Prince Zuko (Dev Patel), son of the Fire Lord, Ozai (Cliff Curtis), captures him. And finally, once he escapes from his confinement, he then discovers with Katara and Sokka, that his tribe has been decimated by the Fire Lords men.
So, what do you think Aang does about this, huh? Fight back? Err – no – not really. What he does instead, is venture forth on a quest that will earn him the right to be an ‘Avatar’ (the saviour of this world), and in so doing, reunite this land as it once was many a year ago.
However, for him to be able to accomplish this mammoth task, Aang has to learn about all of the additional elements that this mantel possesses – fire, water, and earth – and ultimately, make peace with any doubt that he may have with his own developing abilities.
Well, that is why, Ang, Katara, and Sokka, set off to travel this magical world, avoiding the Fire Lords men, whilst at the same time trying to aide Ang in his quest.
Now during this journey, this not so merry trio visit the Southern Water Tribe – the
town – and the Earth Kingdom , and they do whatever it takes to stay alive, reunite a kingdom, and learn something in the process. Northern Air Temple
Granted, at times, this is not such an easy thing for them to do – because Ang does manage to get himself captured by the Fire Lord men once more. Nevertheless, this ‘diversion’ is not for long, and once they all reach the Northern Water Tribe, things all seem to come to a head – when fire comes in to play in a very vivid way.
As what next transpires is a rather bold and elementary affair – because meditation leads to discovery – elements clash – sacrifices’ are made – and Avatars are anointed to their throne.
For the time being, anyway.
Now I have to say, that I have had a really el-e-mental week this week. For a start, at the beginning of this week, the apartment two storeys above me caught fire – which kept me up for most of the night, due to the commotion that this awful event made. Next, a couple of days ago, I had a bit of a mishap in my Dad’s garden – which covered me from head to toe in... err... muck. And finally, just like morning, whilst the workmen were carrying put repairs to the apartment that was ablaze, a water pipe broke – which inadvertently caused a ‘water feature’ in my storage closet.
Therefore, due to all of these shenanigans in my life, that's why I chose to review this film about the elements, ‘The Last Air Bender’, just because it seemed appropriate somehow.
However, was this a happy or sad thing for me to do? Considering that this is not the type of movie that I would normally watch. Err – yes and no really. Though to explain what I mean by this remark, it is time for me to play the advantage and disadvantage game...
(1) I liked the special effects in this movie [bar one, which I will come to later], because most of them had that natural / unnatural feel about them, conveying a cartoon like quality, whilst at the same time a pertinent vibe as well. (2) The story – though ‘flimflammy’ in nature – did tell a complete tale, even if it did leave it open ended for a sequel. (3) The kid who played Ang – Noah Ringer – had a very pleasant way about him, which was one-half mischievous, and one-half wise – contradictory, yet suited his story arc. (4) The fighting scenes in this movie were surprisingly nice to behold, because all of them had a nice rhythmical tone that suited the style and pace of the scenes – very manga. And (5) I did enjoy the elemental and earthy nature of the whole film – because it felt ‘oldie worldly’ and rather refreshing in design.
(1) The one special effect that really got on my nerves was that flying cow thing – it looked bloody stupid. (2) The ‘love angles’ that were briefly apparent in ‘The Last Air Bender’ did not work for me – too fleeting, and too conceptual. (3) The villains – though well acted – did feel very ‘Disney-like’ all in all – because the ‘menace’ was not their. (4) OK, I know that this is a ‘kid’s movie’, and that it was based on ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ cartoon [not to be mistaken with the James Cameron movie ‘Terminator’], but why did everyone have to act so bloody intense all of the bloody time? For me, this acted in determent to complete package, giving what was a nice light cartoon adaptation, quite a mannered exterior. And (5) Around my neck of the woods, the term ‘bender’ is a detrimental phrase used for people of the homosexual persuasion. And, to be completely honest with you, this did detract my viewing pleasure slightly – especially when everyone was calling everyone else a ‘bender’ all of the time [I am sure you can see my point].
Well, as you can see, its 5-5 in the advantage / disadvantage game. And this, in a round about way, sums up what I feel about this movie quite nicely I find. Its has good points to it – it has bad points to it – and overall it is not for someone who has had a el-e-mental week like I have had
THE RATING: B-