My Two Cents: The Last Airbender

So I was hoping to have a post a little more prolific than a movie review to post, since it’s been a while since I’ve posted. But this is what I got.

I watched The Last Airbender last night, written, directed, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. I had heard it was either terrible, or it was just okay. I don’t think Shyamalan is ever going to make another blockbuster like The Sixth Sense again. I don’t think he’s trying… or if he is, he’s doing a terrible job.

To let you know where I stand with Shyamalan, I am THAT guy who actually likes the majority of his movies. The Happening was a bit much for me and just seemed convenient to release a movie where the environment rebels against humanity when environmentalism is so trendy right now. Other than that, I love Signs, The Village, and could watch Lady in the Water repeatedly. Shyamalan creates incredible character development in a movie that all takes place in an apartment building.

So I had high hopes for The Last Airbender, hoping that the few people that were dissatisfied with it were the same folks who didn’t like the movies I’ve just listed. Unfortunately, I did find it to be poorly done. A movie such as this had the potential to become an epic series of movies a la Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.

But alas, the whole movie seemed rushed as a great deal of dialogue between characters was handled as voiceovers while the actors moved their lips on screen, instead of really taking the time to develop the story. It seemed like Shyamalan was given a time restriction before the filming even began and he was forced to stick to this. I also didn’t care much for the cinematography given to the many intense fighting scenes. With so many scenes comprising only of people moving their arms and legs around and directing air, water, or fire around with their hands, it doesn’t look that impressive when the angle is from a distance and the scene suddenly becomes a little bald boy in the middle of a crowd that looks like he’s having an epileptic seizure.

All that said, I still plan to buy this movie–senseless I know, after all I’ve just said. The fact is I am a sucker for life lessons, and there are tons of scenes in this movie where the characters are dealing with insecurities and other things that we deal with day to day. There are tons of sermon illustration clips in this film. So it’s a must buy for me for this reason… not for sheer entertainment quality.

All in all, I give The Last Airbender 2 1/2 stars.

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