Writer/Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Running time: 99 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 13th August 2010
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 16th July 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
There has been an awful lot written about this film and the vast majority I have read is not very positive at all. Many have warned me off seeing this, but you know me and curiosity… I had to see for myself just how bad it could be. Well, as always, I’m going to give you my honest opinion and I have a feeling there’s one or two out there that may not like what I have to say. More of that later, here’s a very brief summary first.
In a world that is split into four realms, those governed by the four elements; Air, Water, Earth and Fire, a boy is discovered who is thought to be the Avatar. The Avatar is master of all the elements and the only one who can speak with the Great Spirit and is the only one that can unite the realms. When he was trained and about to learn his skills, he ran away and has been missing for a hundred years. In the intervening time a war has raged and those in charge of the Fire realm have taken over most of the other realms, even destroying all of those who have power over the Air. This makes Aang, the boy, the last of his kind… the last Airbender. He must learn the secrets of bending Water, Earth and Fire if he is to stop the war. To this end he travels north with his new friends, Katara and Sokka. Also hot on their trail is the disgraced son of the leader of the Fire realm, Prince Zuko. Can Aang fulfil his destiny, or will there be a surprise waiting for him? Of course I can’t tell you here of them Spoiler Police will be all over me like a cheap suit.
On the positive side, I thought the music, by James Newton Howard was excellent and the special effects were also first rate. The acting, although far from perfect, ranged from good to adequate in most cases. I thought Dev Patel did a decent job as Prince Zuko, as did Nicola Peltz as Katara and Jackson Rathbone as Sokka. The main let-down, I guess, was Noah Ringer as Aang, he could handle the physical side of the role very well, but I think a few more acting lessons might be in order.
For a plot based on a children’s animated TV series, I thought it wasn’t too bad. What let it down was the dialogue; it just seemed to be written by someone, to me, who was lacking confidence. I don’t want to worry anyone out there, but it’s left wide-open for a sequel, we only got half way through the story. Over all though, I didn’t find this half as bad as some have led me to believe. It’s not awful, the effects and the music are very good and, yes, some of the acting and the dialogue are not that polished, but I didn’t find it a terrible experience… I’ve seen much worse.
My Score: 4.5/10