This is the movie adaptation of Nickelodeon's action-packed animated series.
The Last Airbender — Book 1 : Water
Aang is the last living Airbender and he is destined to be the Avatar, the chosen one who will maintain peace towards the four nations – Air, Water, Earth, and Fire.
Aang ran away from the Air Temple when he was told that the Avatar cannot live a normal life. Caught in a storm, he became frozen and was trapped in a state of suspended animation (I am uncertain if this was explained in the movie). It was a hundred years later when Katara (a Waterbender) and her brother, Sokka, discovered him.
The presence of the Avatar alarmed the Fire Nation. They know that killing the Avatar will be useless since he will just be reborn. They resolved on capturing him alive so he will not interfere with their plans of conquest.
Aang has not yet mastered the four elements. Katara felt that Aang is her responsibility so she and Sokka traveled with him in search of masters who can teach him the other bending skills he needs to fulfill his role as the Avatar.
Reactions when we saw the teaser trailer for the first time — way back in August 2009…
Dada: It's another Shyamalan film!
Me: Shyamalan is doing Kung Fu???
Dada: If it's him then it's worth watching.
Me: (seeing a gust of wind and the stick) OH MY GOD!!!
Dada: … Why?
Me: OH MY GOD!! IS THAT AANG?!?!
(the boy finally removes his hood and i saw the signature tattoo on his head)
Dada & Me: OH-MY-GOD!!!
Reaction after seeing the movie …
Dada: It's about ZUKO, not Aang!
Me: What just happened? I thought you said Shyamalan's good..? Even though I didn't like "The Happening"
Dada: Well, his books are okay. Maybe he's just not good at being a director.
The animated series is well-received by its fans due to the story, awesome kung-fu moves and other influences from the rich Asian culture.
I was very disappointed with the film because of the screenplay and casting. Shyamalan proved to be an epic fail.
The original characters are either of Chinese, Japanese or Inuit descents. Unfortunately, Shyamalan opted to cast Caucasians for the lead roles and an Indian guy as Prince Zuko. Naturally, since Zuko's now an angst-driven-and-deranged Indian dude, then the rest of the Fire Nation must also be Indians. WTF?! As if inaccurate portrayals are not enough, most of them are horrible actors and actresses! They mispronounced Aang's name! Sheesh! I am not a racist but since Shyamalan butchered the characters' intended ethnicity then I can't help reacting.
Also, Shyamalan stayed true to the story but he squeezed an entire season into a 1.5-hour film!! Those who're not familiar with the animated series will surely be lost somewhere in the middle. There's not much room for character development, apart from Zuko's retarded dilemma.
As sarcastically stated by a movie critic, "Wow, this makes Dragonball Evolution look like a masterpiece."
My experience here is reminiscent to an earlier trip to the movie house. i don't think I will be watching the sequel. Even if I do watch the sequel, it's just gonna be for the sake of not being left out.
I give it :