Movie Review – “The Last Airbender” – Rating: 2/5

By Grace Tevaseu, Correspondent

“The Last Airbender,” the Movie. Being a mega fan of the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” animated Nickelodeon series and having watched all three seasons numerous times on Netflix, I held much bias in watching the live-action movie. How could they fit 54 episodes of bending, of emotion, and of character attachment into 1 hour and 43 minutes? Not well, in my opinion.

The movie was fair in describing the four nations of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. However, it struggled to fully describe the centuries of interactions the nations encountered in attempts to live in harmony and peace. As always in situations with ideals of balanced power, equality was not enough for the Fire Nation. So, they declared war. To maintain the balance of power, the universe provides the world with the Avatar, an individual with the ability to bend all elements. When one avatar dies, a new one is reborn, so the world is never without its balance. Both the TV-show and the movie follow the birth line of Avatar Aang. However, the movie lacks the description and longevity it takes to truly love and root for Aang and his entourage. It also lacks backstory for the supporting characters, aka his friends, and for the great history that constitutes their world. It would be like watching all the Harry Potter movies condensed into one and they only mention wizards, nothing else about their magical world. That movie would be enjoyable but lacking in so many ways. 

If I had not avidly watched the TV series prior to the movie, my perspective would be drastically different. I think I would have enjoyed the film more because I would have taken it as it is, rather than know the original storyline and compare it. Taking the movie as it stands, the visuals are rather underwhelming. It’s portrayal of the spirit world seemed cliché and its effects were choppy. The set overused the colors of the element, as if I wouldn’t be able to tell which nation Aang was in if all the people weren’t wearing the same color. The movie’s attempts at humor made me cringe, especially Sokka’s comments. Overall, “The Last Airbender” is not a viable or even worthy version of the great show, “Avatar: The Last Airbender;” hence, my review is 2 out of 5 stars.