The Last Airbender Movie 2010
From Anime to Action Film
Finally! The moment has come that I have a chance to see The Last Airbender come to life on the widescreen! Based on Nickelodeon's animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, this action packed motion picture, has been long awaited by many.
The third and last season of Avatar: The Last Airbender ended in July of 2008 and since then, there has been talk of a movie. I assumed that the movie was going to be anime as well and I never imagined it to be a "real" film with "real" actors. My first question was: "How are they going to pull this off?"
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang, the avatar, disappears just when the world needed him the most. 100 years past and the Fire Nation had launched a war against the world. It's now up to the return of the avatar to save the world.
Dev Patel...Prince Zuko
Shaun Toub...Uncle Iroh
Katara of the Southern Water Tribe and her brother, Sokka discover a boy and a strange, gigantic animal encased in ice. The boy has arrow tattoos on his body, indicating he is an airbender. The strange thing is, 100 years ago, all the air benders were massacred by the Fire Nation.
Aang turns out to be the Avatar; the master of all elements and the only one who can restore balance to the world. Nickelodeon's animated series consists of three series in which Aang masters the four elements. Being born an airbender, he has already mastered airbending. Before he was able to master the other three elements, he was trapped in ice for 100 years (you'll have to see the movie to find out just how... if you haven't already seen the animated series).
This live action movie features only "Book 1", the season in which Aang masters water.
This movies takes us through the struggle between the banished prince Zuko of the Fire Nation--who's sole goal in life is to capture the Avatar--and Aang.
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The Anime vs the Movie
There were a few huge differences I noticed right away. For one, the circumstance in which Katara and Sokka discovered Aang in the ice was a lot different. I, for one, prefered the conditions in which he was found in the animated series. It was a lot more interesting than the movie version but it sufficed.
The pronunciation of Aang and Sokka's name was different than in the animated series. In the anime, the characters pronounced Aang with a long A instead of a rounded A in the movie. Sokka, in the movie sounded more like so-ka instead of the anime pronunciation sah-ka. The pronunciation isn't a big deal but it confused me in the beginning of the movie.
Sokka's character seemed a lot older than he was portrayed to be in the anime. He was also very serious, which disappointed me a bit because the anime Sokka is hilarious. I was looking forward to the physical comedy and corny jokes of the anime Sokka.
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The Music Behind the Picture
The action of the movie was driven by the background music. Personally, I've always loved the music in the animated series and I especially love the music in the movie. For those who like soundtracks and film scores, The Last Airbender soundtrack is worth purchasing. I know I will be purchasing it.
Airbending: Ba Gua
Waterbending: Tai Chi
Earthbending: Hung Ga
Firebending: Northern Shaolin
My Overall Review
I found the beginning of the movie to be kind of slow and, frankly, a little boring. However, as the story progressed, it became a lot more interesting. In addition to the slow beginning, I felt that the acting wasn't too convincing. The acting, however improved greatly as the show went along.
The action scenes in this movie were so cool! The special effects were very believable and the martial arts choreography was awesome. Each element has it's own martial arts style (as seen in the box to the right).
To me, the "choreography" was the best part of this movie. Of course, the story line is great since it's taken directly from the animation but the true beauty was the action scenes.
For those who like Avatar: The Last Airbender, this movie could either disappoint you or leave you satisfied. The second half of the movie made up for the slow beginning so it's worth seeing. I'll recommend this movie to anyone who loves action.
I give this movie not more than 4 stars out of 5. If it weren't for the intriguing action scenes, I would have given the movie only 3 stars--I decided to be kind. I did enjoy the movie despite its slow, disappointing beginning and subtle differences (compared to the anime). It's still worth seeing.
I'm looking forward to the next two sequels.