Spectre and I are blind posting our reviews of The Last Airbender tonight, just as an experiment of personalities. He tends more towards the critical eye for movies, whereas I go a little easier because I like my entertainment fluffy. That’s right. I said fluffy. Fluffeh.
That said, living with him has had a sobering effect on the way I view my movies; I’m much more invested in the details and I find myself bringing them up more and more often. And with each detail I submit to the microscope Spectre says, “I didn’t say it.” All I can muster is a huffy ” i KNOW” and a mildly dirty look.
SO! Airbender. Shyamalan remains mostly true to the storyline from the Nickelodeon series that ran a few years ago. AND he’s got the cast using the correct pronunciation of names, Bonus. He’s integrated aspects of the later seasons (yeah, I’ll get to it in a sec) to help the story along which would make sense considering there are three books.
And why I thought they would cram all three books into one movie I don’t know, but I was extremely annoyed at the end of the movie after the introduction of Azula and then nothing. NADA. Two very cranky tweets and a “You have GOT to be kidding me.” later I released my seat, and dutifully recycled my 3D glasses.
Fights and bending are FAIRLY well choreographed, though the voice in the back of my head thought it was kind of sloppy with a lot of extraneous arm movements. More Ta-chi than Kung Fu. They are going a slightly different direction with the Avatar’s level of violence as most of the theater was the 10 and under crowd so a couple of my favorite parts from the Water Book were omitted.
They filmed in amazing locations (Greenland, New Zealand & Vietnam) but it cannot make up for the underdevelopment of some of the characters: Uncle Iroh is appropriately zen, but flat and makes me miss Mako; Appa looks like a monster from “Where the Wild Things Are” and roars with no meaning; and Sokka… funny, utilitarian and perpetually hungry, Sokka was stuck holding the “We need to move” basket.
This review should come as no surprise, though, as I shredded a rough edit of a Serenity fan Fiction film a couple of days ago and I. LOVE. SERENITY. Yeah and getting snippy about it? Not gonna make me put down $20 to pre-order that mess from someone who can’t take criticism he ASKED FOR. I think it’s fair to say that I am harder on the remakes of series that I love than I am on original plots, or what passes for them these days.
Overall, I give it a solid “Meh.” It’s unoffensive and flows well considering all the relevant and intertwining story elements, it was two hours long and I didn’t once look at my watch. But save your money and skip 3D. There are no teasers at the end. I know. I WAITED.
I don’t know if I will go see the other two, but I want to see how they will treat Azula and Toph.
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