Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Last Airbender

The Last Airbender
Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi,
Cliff Curtis, Seychelle Gabriel, Katharine Houghton, Francis Guinan, Damon Gupton and Summer Bishil

Rated: PG Fantasy action violence
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: July 1, 2010 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation

M. Night Shyamalan from time to time has carried us into extraordinary places but recently his work leaves us with a vacant feeling. Even with a universe of special effects, perhaps too many, along with the lack of character development The Last Airbender becomes little more than hot air.

The Airbender flows to the surface in a giant water ball and brings hope to those who know he has been missing for a century. The question is, can he put all the forces together and bring existence back to normal? But in this script the Airbender spends much of his time dancing around creating disturbances in the atmosphere rather than building a coalition and using devices or controls to stop the evil intensions of Prince Zuke's (Dev Patel) father. Patel's Prince Zuko is thrown to the wind by his father's coalition partner who convinces dad to disavow the kid who is not worthy and the Snidely Whiplash style character begins to control everything.

The film attempts to cover too much territory and too many characters to do justice to either. A slower fuller introduction would have been more satisfying followed by a second part establishing the flow of the story.

Though not impossible to follow, piecing the script together is difficult particularly when we are jumped from scene to scene that are totally unrelated - other than being in the same film. The bridges at times are not existent.

Special effects are interesting but used far too often limiting time for the plot which is basically defeating Patel's father's gang who want to control everything. They can only be stopped by the last Airbender.

Could this plot work? Yes, but more stories about the folks in a more coherent story would have been necessary. M. Night Shyamalan has produced another failure. Let's hope he will stop and think before presenting another film like this and get back to the place where we could not wait to get in line to see his work.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Last Airbender  C      D   B   C+      C      C+ 

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