REVIEW: 'The Last Airbender'

REVIEW: 'The Last Airbender'

REVIEW: 'The Last Airbender', Flicks.co.nz
Noah Ringer as Aang, the Last Airbender

2 stars

M. Night Shyamalan's (The Sixth Sense) adaptation of the hit cartoon show, which follows the adventures of Aang, the last Airbender. Now playing nationwide. Also in 3D.

M. Night Shyamalan is back and this time he doesn’t have a big twist to cap off the movie. This is not the world I grew up in. Instead he’s adapting the children’s animated TV series Avatar (no, not that one). The kids will like it – I saw some recreating the big fight scenes after the screening – but there’s not much to enthuse the adults who take them along.

The story itself is a fairly generic fantasy outing and is played without much subtlety or depth. There’s a voiceover that narrates the onscreen action most of the time and some blunt dialogue delivered by wooden actors. Kids will enjoy the supernatural battles but older viewers will pick out the flaws pretty easily. For example, why do the water tribe have so much difficulty defeating their fire opponents when the battle takes place on the ocean?

Ah well, the special effects during these scenes are impressive enough and go some way to making up for the uninspiring production design – bog standard, Oriental influenced. Even if further adaptations are made, this already feels like a poor man’s Lord of the Rings.

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