I’m going to admit that when I first heard everyone talking about how bad M. Night Shyamalan’s adaptation of “The Last Airbender” was, I dismissed it as just more overblown hate-ranting for the director. It has become hip to be a Shyamalan smack-talker and I was not going to participate just because the guy made one real stinker in his whole ongoing career. Well, unfortunately the count is now up to two.
“The Last Airbender” has to be one of the worst big budget films in the history of cinema. There is nothing good about this movie at all. I would be willing to even say that it’s up in the ranks of film atrocities right next to “Wild, Wild West.“
“The Last Airbender” tells the story of “four nations ( Air, Water, Earth, Fire) tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara, a Waterbender, and her brother Sokka to restore balance to their war-torn world”
I can’t think of one single actor in “The Last Airbender” that even remotely looked like they were interested in being in it. And it they were, their lack of any acting at all didn’t help them to show it. The kid who plays Aang (Noah Ringer) in the movie is a newcomer so I don’t want to be too hard on him. Unfortunately, he has basically the same look throughout the entire film. He looks like he has to go to the bathroom after eating at a buffet and can’t find a restroom anywhere. I don’t’ know how any director would watch the dailies of scenes featuring any actors that have dialogue in this and think that it looked even remotely passable.
Next let’s talk about visual effects in “The Last Airbender.“ The movie opens on an ice glacier and in a snow-filled landscape. When we see Jackson Rathbone and Nicola Peltz combined with the mountainous background it brought to mind certain blue-screen scenes from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” That would be all fine and good…if it were still 1989! But it’s not. It’s over 20 years later and weird outlines around characters’ heads and bodies are just not acceptable.
The mix of marital arts moves and CGI-water / fire / other elements in “The Last Airbender” is also very badly done. The actual martial arts moves that are supposed to come off smooth and like a beautiful dance or ballet move somehow look all awkward, jumbled, and sketchy. It almost seems like the syncing between the CGI and the element-throwing or “bending” is off by a millisecond or something.
I really am disappointed in this extremely lackluster film. Supposedly, Shyamalan wanted to make “The Last Airbender” because he loves the animated television series that he started watching with his kids. My question is when did he lose interest in making the film? Why would he do this to something he supposedly loves? How angry are his children with him? I can’t in good conscience tell someone it’s worth even a rental from Redbox for the action. Even the action sequences are sleep-inducing and cumbersome. Save your money and rent “A Christmas Carol” instead. I’m glad Shyamalan redeemed himself by writing and producing “Devil.“ That makes up for this in my eyes.
You can get “The Last Airbender” in a Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo + Digital Copy. Disc One (Blu-ray) features the movie; Discovering The Last Airbender (nine-part documentary in HD); Inspirations – Co-creators of the show and M. Night Shyamalan give insight into the inner journey the characters take; Spirituality – Explore the deeper spirituality that colors The Last Airbender; Heroes – Aang, Katara and Sokka journey together to save the world; behind-the-scenes piece provides a closer look at these characters and the actors; Greenland – With sub-zero shoots on glaciers and frozen rivers just a few hundred miles from the North Pole, travel with the filmmakers to Greenland to meet the locals and experience the magnificent landscapes captured for the powerful opening of the film; World – The sets, props, costumes and make-up that helped bring to life four unique nations in the film, each with a distinct look and style; Action – With the film’s “bending” rooted in Martial Arts, uncover Shyamalan’s process with Noah Ringer to create complex, heart-pounding action sequences; Effects – Closer look at the jaw-dropping cinematography and special effects that were created to blend seamlessly with ILM’s computer generated imagery; Music – Longtime creative collaboration between M. Night Shyamalan and composer James Newton Howard is celebrated in the film’s sweeping score; Finale – The journey culminates in one breathtaking moment on the ice wall; Siege of the North (HD) – Get transported to the frozen realm of the Northern Water Tribe and the largest indoor film set ever built on the U.S. east coast; Origins of the Avatar (HD) – Birth of the mythology from the original co-creators of the animated show, Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzk. Concept art from the popular series provides further perspective into how the story would eventually reincarnate into an epic feature film; Katara for a Day (HD) – Spend a day on the set with Nicola Peltz; Deleted Scenes (HD); Gag Reel (HD); and Avatar Annotations (Picture-in-picture on select scenes) – insights with cast and crew. Disc Two (DVD) has the movie and a Digital Copy of the film.
“The Last Airbender” also comes in a single disc Blu-ray and single disc regular DVD format packaging.
The technical specifications for the Blu-ray are AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, and Widescreen Format; English Language; English, French, Spanish Subtitles; and 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio.
Source: Yahoo! Movies