Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thinking about the last airbender

So, as you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of the cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender.

It's funny, dramatic, great action, great voice acting where kids actually voice the kids (this may shock some of you but most kids in cartoons are voiced by 40 year old women).

Also, for all the great action, drama and characters, it might be the best thing for kids I've seen in a long time.

Now as you ALSO may know, I am a huge fan of the early work (see that line I just drew?) of M. Night Shamylan. I think 6th Sense and Unbreakable are amazing films. But lately, really everything he's done NOT named 6th Sense or Unbreakable? Not a fan.

Still- between my interest in the cartoon and interest in the writer/director, I wound up seeing the Last Airbender movie.

The verdict? It's ok. And honestly, that means this is a thumbs down review.

If someone gives you $150 million dollars and you can't make a more compelling work than a cartoon, you have failed.

Another disappointment below. This is potentially a spoiler for the cartoon. You have been warned.


Probably the part of this movie I was looking forward to the most, there's a point in the cartoon where the Avatar meets this creepy demon that can steal faces. I was *really* looking forward to seeing the 6th Sense guy give everyone under 20 in the theater nightmares with this scene. It's creepy in the damn cartoon.

It's not in the movie. At all. That was a huge disappointment. Of course, this is a kid's movie I guess. Maybe they left the scene out for creative reasons, or maybe time. Still kind of a let down.


Preston said...

I haven't gotten to see the movie yet, but I'm a huge fan of the cartoon as well. Shamylan set the bar really high for himself with his first movies. I didn't dislike the Village or the one about the apartment complex, but they didn't live up to his earlier work. I had high hopes for the movie, but I knew that it would be hard to cut 9 hours of a season down to two in a film. Sort of like distilling one of the later Harry Potter books down to a 2 hour movie. Of the reviews I've read, what disappointed me the most was that the humor that was such a hallmark of the show was missing from the movie.

RPGObjects_chuck said...

It is humorless. Completely.

Honestly though, I sort of expected that. First, humor isn't really M. Night's thing.

Second, like you said, they're condensing a lot, so I expected the heavy moments to be the ones to make it in.

I realize I'm probably the wrong audience for this movie, but for anyone interested in the story, I would still recommend watching the cartoon.

You can stream it from Netflix or rent it, it's so easy to get the original and better product to watch at your own pace.

Anonymous said...

I actually kind of enjoyed Signs. However, at this point, I have no idea why anybody would greenlight him on anything.

I enjoyed the animated series a great deal and was looking forward to the film...until I learned Shyamalan was which point I figured don't waste the time or money.

I still want the two hours of my life back that were wasted on The Village. Worst film I've seen in a theater since the Reagan years. Happily, that's the last time I will spend money to see a film he's directed.

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