13 November 2010

What a right bender!

The Last Airbender – M. Night Shyamalan

First of all, let’s not take into account that this is a M. Night Shymalan movie, and let’s just go by the source material which happens to be a Nickelodeon cartoon with a massive following and cult status that even animation lovers and geeks appreciate for its sheer enjoyment. I’ve never watched the TV show so i don’t know anything about air bending or such things. I know the title was going to be called Avatar: The Last Airbender but it was changed because of the link to the James Cameron film, so i guessed the lead character is called Avatar and he’s of a special breed of person; which is pretty much the plot of the film. I know the film has had plenty of bad reviews calling for M. Night to call it quits after such a great beginning to his career and that with this, it’s a new low for The Sixth Sense director. See i don’t just look at one work of the director, you got to think of it as a team effort and if it fits into the directors canon of work. One of my favourite directors is Kevin Smith, a man who has been beaten and scarred by people’s reviews of his later which people suggest is lacking compared to his first feature Clerks, but i still enjoy his work because i like his whole canon, I’ll never stop enjoying his films because i trust his judgement and i trust his work. I’m not like that with M. Night; i like some of his work, but not all of it. Not a big fan of signs!

Following a young boy called Aang, who after a hundred years awakens in an ice ball in a land of water, not realising that a hundred years has passed and that the world around him has changed. See this isn’t any old place, this is where element bending occurs, where there are four breeds of special people, Airbenders who can bend air, waterbenders who can bend water, firebenders who can bend fire and earthbenders who can bend Earth. It’s a pretty simple thing to understand but by having this Avatar, who is meant to use all 4 of these bending abilities to help balance the world, but because he is a boy, who only knows air bending, it’s a little adventure for the boy to learn these bending skills, but he doesn’t. He just about learns about to waterbend by the end of the film, seeming that the director and writers thought they would get a sequel where he would learn more abilities, which, from the money taken and the amount of people who saw the film, mostly children mind you, would be on the cards.

I don’t know what it is about the film, but it feels cold, i don’t really care if Avatar wins or loses, i actually care for Dev Patel’s character Prince Zuko who is expelled from his kingdom for his father’s actions. I felt like i wanted him to win, which is wrong. The film got many comments about its lacking CGI, true, it’s not great but it’s not aimed at people who know about it, it’s aimed at children who can barely sit in the cinema seats.


Simon Childs

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