A couple of months ago, I blogged about how I thought The Last Airbender was going to turn out.
I admit, I was wrong: The effects were just as bad as the rest of the film.
My stand against the casting of this film isn’t even a factor anymore because it was just that awful.
I thought Noah Ringer (Aang) looked the part. And he moved well. His martial arts background worked well for him because he was the only one who looked like he knew what he was doing in the fight and element bending scenes. With that said, he’s not a very good actor and neither is Nicola Peltz (Katara). They both looked like they were on the verge of tears most of the time and constipated all of the time. (The constipated look, it’s an epidemic.)
I feel sorry for the more veteran actors because while their acting doesn’t suck, the script certainly does. Hard.
The bending and fight choreography also sucked major balls. Never has element bending looked this cumbersome and taken so much time. I’m amazed the Fire Nation lost the battle at all with the amount of time it took for the benders to manipulate their respective elements. Seriously, no one thought of just shooting the Air/Earth/Water benders while they were whirling their arms around? There’s also a part where this group of Earthbenders stomp around and do a little dance while fighting which was the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.
Storywise, the pacing was rushed. I know adaptations are exactly that: adaptations and there is no way you can cram the whole first season in a 103 minutes but the plot would have worked better if they veered away from the animated storyline more because some details in the film were, I felt, unnecessary in moving the story forward.
On the other hand, there was also so much of what made Avatar: The Last Airbender so great that was missing.The absence of Koh, the face stealer and KOIZILLA(TM) was a huge loss. For me, they were what made The Book of Water so awesome. There were also no cute hybrid animals; none of Sokka’s sarcasm; no kooky background characters; minimal emphasis on the spirituality whose influence was so strong in the source material; and most importantly, no sense of joy which was pivotal in balancing out this epic battle that spanned a century.