I really wanted to like this one. I love the show and made sure to watch all of season one before the movie came out so I could enjoy it properly.
I’m ok with an adaptation changing details. I understand a two hour movie based on 20+ twenty minute episodes is going to lose something. The problem is when what you lose is the point of the story. M. Night Shyamalan turned a lighthearted action adventure into an utter gloomfest.
The episodes they chose to draw the plots from were well chosen but some detail changes which weakened the story. Having the Earthbender prisoners imprisoned on a camp on ground damaged the emotional credibility of the scene.
M. Night Shyamalan turned a lighthearted action adventure into an utter gloomfest.
Making Aang learn pacifism from scratch was fine (though a bit half-hearted). The personality change from playful/serious dichotomy to emo monotony was not ok. Aang isn’t Aang without the playful/serious split.
The casting was almost universally bad. Dev Patel as Prince Zuko was the only one cast well. Aasif Mandvi could have done well as Zhao if directed properly. The racial complaints on casting are overblown, but the casting was horrid regardless.
Why the frell did they screw up the frelling pronunciations so badly? I cringed every time they said Sakko’s name. Aang’s name uses a short English A, not aaaahhhhhnng.
And how do you mispronounce Avatar that badly? Avatar didn’t need a new pronunciation to differentiate it from the Blue People movie. Sheesh.
The racial complaints on casting are overblown, but the casting was horrid regardless.
The dialogue was pretty poorly written. The voiceover and exposition were heavy-handed and clumsy. However, if you haven’t seen the show, you may enjoy this quite a bit despite the issues which are apparent even without being a fan of the original.
The special effects were pretty good for the most part. Firebending was pretty believable all the way through, waterbending had a few issues, and Appa looked fine from a distance. The northern water tribe’s city felt accurate, the fire nation’s siege of the city looked right.
Due to most of Aang’s personality being stripped away, they didn’t bother including Aang’s airball scooter thing. Disappointing, but not as disappointing as stripping away most of Aang’s personality.
Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender series: 10/100
Newcomers to Avatar: 50/100