Saturday, July 24, 2010
Review: The Last Airbender
Coming from an avid viewer of the cartoon series Avatar: the legend of Aang, the last airbender, I am not pleased with the movie. But, I already knew that I'd be disappointed with the film adaptation, because of the casting and of course how limiting two hours can be as compared to a whole season.
I really have a big problem with the casting. Dev Patel as the Fire nation's Zuko, he's indian, the cartoon clearly draws him as Chinese. Couldn't they have just find a Chinese, Japanese or even Korean actor ro play Aang's arch enemy (that's all, I'm going to say first cause a line in the movie "we could be friends you know," Aang to Zuko is a dead giveaway of what's going to happen in the sequel.) They could have cast Korean-Actor Rain, who I believe already made a hollywood action film. Zuko is older than Aang. Plus, if they really wanted Dev Patel, he could have been perfect for the role of Sokka. Sokka in the cartoons is drawn similar to Dev's features. In defense of Jackson Rathbone (Twilight), i liked his performance, especially during the first parts when they were out hunting, I got some hints of Sokka's kookiness.
Another problem that I had with the movie was that the characters weren't given much personalities. I do remember that episode of when Katara was teaching Aang, but it didn't really show in the movie that she was jealous of him because he was learning faster than her, instead Aang pretended to not learn and was practicing only in night time. I wonder how they are going to make Aang like Katara, because he has a crush on her, but it was not an issue in the movie. Aang's pets, Appa and Momo did not have much parts in the movie, but at least they were brillaintly done and could very much compare to the original, "yip, yip!"
Plus , the Avatar state was tinkered with. The Avatar state is when Aang is most powerful and all elements---earth, air, water and fire are with him, this only happens when he is most angry, and when he is in the avatar state, he becomes helpless afterwards. In the movie, Aang was in the Avatar state when he was controlling the ocean trying to defeat the Fire Nation, and after he did so, he was okay.
Apart from that, i also have a problem with the execution as not much special effects and new tactics nad martial arts skills were used. I was watching in 3D,. DUH? What more it was all eery and dark, yes i know I was in the cinema, but then even the day scenes have a glint of being dark, I guess that must have been the director's signature? I would have really wanted the movie to be written by the original creators and not by the director, M. Night, but hey, that's just me, right?
Although, I am disappointed, i will still watch part two, book 2: earth, where another of my favorite character Toph, a 12 year old blind girl who is also Aang's Earth bending teacher will appear. oh yeah King Bumi, Aang's friend is awesome too.