The first time I’ve heard about The Last Airbender is a month ago from ate Kathy. She was actually talking about the TV animation series & said it is a good series but I don’t get the chance to watch it. The original title of the series is Avatar: The last Airbender but the film need to drop Avatar for some rights issues with James Cameron film Avatar. Since I didn’t see the original series I don’t have something to compare, which is good in a way that i don’t have to expect much from this film.
The opening of the film is a narration of one of the protagonist name Katara. She is one of the water nomads who lives in southern water tribes and has the ability to bend water. Her narration is actually good, I just find the script something too explanatory & expository. As if everything is given and said even before it happen. It’s like she’s reading a scene from a story book while they are acting it or will act it. Saying exactly what they are about to do or what’s going to happen in the next scene lost the magic of the film.
For the casting, I don’t find it racist as what the other is saying. I don’t care much whether they are all white or that they should be Asians. They may not like the original but that doesn’t really matter for me. I just wish that the acting is better. It’s not bad but not exceptionally great either. Before watching the film, I actually looking forward seeing Jackson Rathbone. I see him as Jasper Hale in Twilight Saga films and wonder how he portray a new character. In this film he plays Sokka, the older brother of Katara. Unlike his sister, Sokka doesn’t have bending power. I found his character too dull in this film. It lacks some character development. Nicola Peitz as Katara is good, I just feel that she was underused in this film like with the other actors. Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) as Prince Zuko is solid. He manage to capture the frustration and anger of the exiled prince. Overall the acting is passable. The actors play reasonably well. There are some scenes that looks dull, but with a not so brilliant script what to expect.
The visual effects and designs are great. The composition of cg backgrounds and sets are visually appealing. The costumes are nice and beautiful. The animation of the bending of elements are well executed. The martial arts choreography is also beautiful except for some awkward slow motion shots.
The Last Airbender may not be one of the best movie this year, but it’s not that bad. I got this feeling that a lot of people who watched the film with me actually liked the movie. It’s still fun specially for kids. At least it’s not something that will bore me to death or fall asleep and worst walk out.