REVIEW: THE LAST AIRBENDER
SYNOPSIS: Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations 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 (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world.
REVIEW: Well folks, as Iíve often mentioned, I have three sons. That said, Avatar the cartoon was very popular in my house. We (yes, we as in the boys and I) were avid fans and I believe there are still a few action figures lying around the house. First time that I saw a preview of he Last Airbender, I remember the boys got so very excited and I just couldnít wait to see how they would flesh it out. The fact M. Night-Shaymalan was writing and directing the film truly sealed the deal for me. I knew that I had to review this film (not to mention, bring Ralphie along).
Aang (Noah Ringer) awakens after a hundred years to find a war torn world where the Fire Nation is quickly taking over the world and folks thatís a bad thing. He is the last Avatar which is an overwhelming reality for a little boy, but Aang just isnít any little boy. He is not only the most recent reincarnation of the (think Dalai Lama) Avatar, he is the only person left on earth that can bend Air, Water, Earth and Fire, but he needs to develop all of these talents. He is a boy who became lost whilst running away from this great responsibility and thus from home. Prince Souko (Dev Patel) is the Prince of the Fire nation and due to a dysfunctional relationship with his, father the Fire Lord Ozai (Cliff Curtis), he has been banished. He is in search of redemption in his fatherís eyes and feels that he will not have peace until he captures the Avatar and brings him to his father. He is a is a boy desperately trying to return home.
In his attempt to stop the Fire Nation from taking over the world Aang is helped by Katara (Nicola Peltz) and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), the two siblings that found Aang. Let me tell you that the choreography of the martial arts in the film is very beautiful and Iím sure your little one will be asking for lessons shortly after viewing it.
Cinematically, the movie has gorgeous views of land, forests and ancient temples, but the darkness of the Fire Nation and all that they hold is very prevalent. The kingdom of the Water Nation, in which the beautiful Princess Yue (Seychelle Gabriel) rules, reminded me of one of the lovely kingdoms in The Lord of the Rings.
M. Night Shaymalan has always been one of my favorite contemporary writers/directors and knowing that he is of Indian birth made it psychologically interesting (I have thing about analyzing people) that he made all the
villains from the Fire Nation Indian. Dev Patel did a very good job at playing a dark and brooding young Prince hell bent on making his distant father proud of him,. But I have to tell you that his choice of this film as his follow-up project after Slum Dog Millionaire was surprising. Aasif Mandvi played Commander Zhao so well that I nearly forgot how much Iíve enjoyed his comedic turns in movies such as Ghost Town.
Mom and Dad, yes your child will want to drag you to see this film, but if you enjoy fantasy films or martial arts, this will also be enjoyable for you. As my buddy Marilyn stated , the ending is way to obvious in its effort to set up the next installment and thus leaves you going ď..what?Ē. For me the surprise was actually the lack of said surprise in its ending. What I mean by that is that surprise endings are a staple of M. Night Shaymalan and Iím afraid that this was written more for its commercial value than as a great, big screen version of the
Nickelodean series. I enjoyed it, Ralphie enjoyed it, Marilyn enjoyed, it and even Miguelito enjoyed it (you donít know him so you wouldnít understand how hard it is to get a positive reaction from him)!
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People Movie Review
The Last Airbender
Knowing that my two sons were both big
fans of the 'Avatar' cartoon we as a
family have been preparing for sunday
when we all went to see it and I must
say it doesn't disappoint. This wonderful
world of fantasy is brought to
life and the action will keep you tuned
into this storyline that in my opinion
is very well written. It gets you ready
for the sequal without making you feel
like you are getting only a portion of a
Ringer is an up and comming
superstar and his performance as the
Avatar is unforgettable. With Peltz and
Rathbone playing his brave sidekicks
this movie rocks from beginning to end.
By far Shaymalan's best work since
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