When a TV series is turned into a movie, it’s usually somewhat-successful amongst the hardcore fans of the series. When an anime cartoon is made into a full-length film, it is usually a disaster.
Such is the case with The Last Airbender. This pathetic attempt to make a movie out of a cartoon was easily the most frustrating film of 2010 by far. Like wow.
I’ll try to review this properly, hard though it may be, by starting with the positives.
The movie does have some good effects. The magic or “bending” scenes had some nice animations, with fire, water and huge rocks rising from the earth. That was neat.
Also, at times, the movie does succeed at being funny. Though, not “haha” funny. You know when someone says something really stupid and you laugh in your head thinking “wow, what an idiot”? I had a lot of those moments when protagonists and other important characters did anything besides standing still.
As I happen to know, the movie also appeals to children under 12. It took some thinking on my part to figure out why. My reasoning is that this “movie” is so unbelievably shallow, straightforward, deprived of twists, or mystery of any kind that even a kid can understand it easily. Kids generally cannot understand complex movies like Inception, so this 2-hour-long “movie” might appeal to them in the same way that a 20-minute cartoon episode would. So, hooray. It appeals to kids.
Well, that’s the good stuff. Here’s what I really think about this film.
First of all, the fact that $150,000,000.00 was spent on this monstrosity makes me and God cry. There are African children dying this day, and the money that could go to their food stores was instead used to torture America. I can’t speak for Europe, but I’d wager they’d agree. What we have is a completely unoriginal, ripped-off, poorly produced attempt to squeeze money out of a somewhat-famous anime, and to top it all it was poorly acted. I mean they couldn’t even pronounce names right!
Scene to scene, the exact same actors, with their exact same vacant expressions, said their memorized lines in the exact same tone and volume. I suspect a conspiracy; in order to save money, the director made robots play the main roles.
Nah, even robots could do better. With robots their level of talent would be at zero. Here it’s in the negatives. It’s not that there’s no talent showing – it’s that the lack of talent is displayed on a 40-foot-long screen and is screaming for you to notice it.
And notice it I did. All the “good guys” main actors are gonna have serious reputation problems. I don’t know where they dug up Nicola Peltz, but Jackson Rathbone will not have all the fans he made from starring in Twilight. The “bad guys” in the film are not that bad – there is some decent acting, and even character development (wow!).
The plot is… terrible. First of all, it is completely ripped off from the cartoon, which is not necessarily bad (after all, it is an adaptation). It follows a simple plot structure. You got your inciting incident, climax, etc.
So why did I say it’s bad? Because, although there is technically a story progression, most of the time nothing happens. They fly from place to place, fight the exact same battles with the exact same bad guys, keep entering “the spirit world” and talking to that dragon again, and again, and again. That goes on for about ¾ of the movie. In the end, when something that actually matters does happen, we are left with nothing. The fish resurrect, the bad guys escape, and we are left with the most boring “to be continued” ending ever.
Well, I’m reaching the end of my review, so this is where I’m supposed to recommend this movie or not.
Here’s what I’m gonna say. Take $11.75, go to a fountain, throw it in there and make a wish. That will be more rewarding than spending it on The Last Airbender. If you are the kind of person who doesn’t believe in that stuff, blow you nose with that $10.00 bill. That way, you actually won’t completely waste it :)
Write you later,