Movie Review: The Last Airbender

The Last Airbender
The Last Airbender Theatrical Release Poster

Excited.  That’s how I felt when I first heard the news about Hollywood making an adaptation of the hit cartoon series “Avatar: The Last Airbender“.  I think it was around early last year (or was it late 2008) that the first teaser trailer was released.  It showed some promise and so I thought, I was going to see this movie when it hits the theaters, even if M. Night Shyamalan was going to be the director for this movie.

Unfortunately,  due to our busy schedule and some small problems at home, I wasn’t able to watch it in the big screen.  Turns out it was a good thing though.

Based from what most people said, the movie was a complete disappointment.  On some sites in the web, they even gave it a failing grade.  Curious, I had to watch it for myself.  And the verdict… they were right.

Before I continue, let me give you guys a recap of its story for the sake of those who haven’t watch it or is not familiar with it.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is an American animated tv series which aired in the Nickelodeon channel for three seasons.  It tells the story of Aang, a 12 year old young Airbender and is the last living survivor of the Air Nomad clan.  It is his destiny to become the Avatar, the one who can master all four types of ‘bending’ (Earth, Water, Air, Fire) and restore balance to the world.

The world of Avatar
Avatar world map

The setting for the series takes place in a world that is home to humans, some mazing beast and spirits.  The human civilization is then divided into four; the Earth kingdom, the Water tribes, the Air Nomads and the Fire nation.  The Fire nation has declared war on the rest of the nations and has completely eliminated the Air nomads for fear of the Avatar, whom they believed is the only one powerful enough to stop them.  Anyway, the series follows Aang’s journey, along with his friends, from accepting his destiny and becoming the Avatar up to defeating the Fire lord, the leader of the Fire nation, and bringing an end to the war.  (for further details, please visit one of the links below… after this post).

The Last Airbender movie covers “Book One: Water” or season one of the animated series.  It mostly talks about the protagonist’s struggle with accepting his destiny as the Avatar and his journey to the Northern Water tribes to find a Water bending master.

So back to the topic… After watching the movie, I can honestly say this much.  It was a huge letdown for me, as a fan.  I don’t know whose fault it was, but they destroyed or changed some of the things that was vital to the story.  As of the moment, it is the worst movie, by far that I have watched for this year.

You might ask me what exactly made the movie that bad… Here is my answer, I don’t know where to start.  From the mismatched actors, to the dry acting, to the rewritten script.  There are a lot of thing that was so wrong in the movie.

As for the special effects, I guess it was the only thing that was decent.  The flying bison was okay.  As for the bending effects, well it could have been worse.

All in all, I would give the movie a 1 out of 5 stars.

As for the rumors of a follow up movie for book two and three, I just hope they make a better job than this one.  As for M. Night Shyamalan… all I can say, “Dude, seriously… is that the best you can do???”.


On a happy note, Nickelodeon confirms that a sequel to the animated series, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is in the works and it will start airing probably next year.  The working title is “The Legend of Korra”.  For more details, click here.



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