I'm really at a loss for words right now. For the first time in a very long time I feel absolutely nothing about a film. Peg it as apathy or indifference but either way M. Night Shyamalan's new film "The Last Airbender" is probably my pick for worst movie of the year. Not because of quality or writing or any of that but because it didn't invoke anything within me. When a movie is great you feel all warm and fuzzy inside or you feel refreshed. When you see a bad movie your side hurts from laughing or you feel rage of some sort. As soon as the credits started rolling for this film I just stood up and walked out. I didn't say anything, I didn't do anything, I just walked out and went on with my life. I joke about it and I hear others joke about it but I seriously think I now know what wasting 103 minutes of your life means.
If it sounds like I'm being too harsh I'm not. Out of that 103 minutes I was probably interested for about 6-7. And that was a fight scene about midway through the film. In it, two characters fight a group of soldiers. There isn't any super special effects (besides a little bending and flying) and instead it took a page out of Zack Synder's handbook by using the slow-fast-slow motion fighting sequence. It was interesting, it was choreographed a lot better than the rest of the movie and it was interesting. But like every other time I almost got interested in this film it ended prematurely.
Well better get into the plot...but trust me I have more complaints.
The story is an adaptation of the first season of the Nickelodeon show Avatar: The Last Airbender. If you know the show, skip the next two paragraphs, if not I'll elaborate. There is a world. In that world there are benders. Benders are people who control and can manipulate the elements. Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. Ruling over them and acting as a pope like connection between this world and the spirit world was the avatar. The avatar controls all of the elements as well as being that connection. Once the current avatar dies he is reincarnated and the process begins again.
The current avatar disappeared 100 years ago and in that time the Fire nation being the hotheads they are (ba dum pish) decided to take over. One day, two young kids from the water nation find something in the ice. As it turns out, it's the avatar who had been frozen in time for 100 years in a block of ice. The avatar's name is Aang and he has a pet Appa who is a flying bison. Together the three of them go on a journey to stop the fire nation and help Aang reach his true potential. While all this is happening, the Fire Lord is sending troops out to look for the avatar and his own son Zuko, who had been banished for insubordination, is looking for him as well.
That may sound interesting on paper but in execution it is yawn enducing and boring. The beginning stuff is a text scroll and the film pretty much plays out:
-Go back to village where kid gets captured only to casually break out
-Kid and other two travel stopping every 10 or so minutes to have a brief fight scene or a flashback heavy crying or sulking time
-Angry kid and uncle look and angry kid is brooding, mysterious and has his heart in the right place
-Evil man wants angry kid AND kid out of picture
-Mild fight scenes and exposition
-Set-up for sequel
It's so mundane, lazy and boring. The backgrounds look like sets or backdrops, the special effects are hit and miss and when they hit it looks like a minor annoyance rather than a punch of energy, and 99% of the fight scenes look like something out of Power Rangers. I'm serious...they had a 150,000,000 dollar budget and it looks like they used it all on two scenes and those only lasted 10.5 minutes. And while those are impressive, they don't really have any impact or force and mean nothing. I seriously went home and watched Power Rangers and it had better fights and effects.
The writing is dull and full of useless padding, the characters are unlikeable and you feel no emotion for any of them and when anything happens it's just meh. I yawned more times during this film then I have in years. The acting is stiff and wooden and everyone phoned it in. Dev Patel who played Zuko was okay acting wise...but lacked any heart or passion so he sucked too.
Honestly everything besides 1 fight scene and two special effects sucked...So that's 17.5 minutes. Minus the 10.5 since besides the effects I was bored and your back to 7 minutes of caring and even that's being generous.
I didn't hate this movie...I just didn't care. M. Night sure didn't care about the film so why should I. I will say it gets a new rating though...so maybe that's something good going for it. But seriously skip this movie.
MY VERDICT: APATHY/INDIFFERENCE