Coming from the maker of ‘The Sixth Sense’, ‘The Last Airbender’ evoked quite an interest among the Indian movie buffs. But sadly, the film hardly lives up to its expectations and falls flat on its face. Manoj Night Shyamalan’s latest offering, ‘The Last Airbender’ only went on justifying that crafting a masterpiece once (The Sixth Sence’), does not always guarantees a hit.
‘The Last Airbender’ shows Shyamalan at his least creative phase. The film is not very nicely handled - poorly plotted, poorly acted and to put it in a rather apparent way, the film is a test of endurance for people coming into theatres to watch another of Shayamalan’s shattered work after ‘The Lady in the Water and ‘The Happening’. With his latest Manoj scored a hattrick!
Based on an animated cartoon series that played on the Nickelodeon Channel, the film concerns a world where four tribes exist. They are the tribes of earth, air, water and fire. The fire tribe is intent on taking over the rest of the world. The only thing that can possibly stop them is an avatar, who can control all four elements.
The avatar named Aang (Noah Ringer) appears when he is set free from the ice that encrusted him by two teenagers of the water tribe. They are Katara (Nicola Peltz) and Sokka (Jackson Rathbone). Once Aang is freed, the trio heads to the earth world where the fire people are trying to take over the country.
Also involved in trying to capture Aang is Prince Zuko (Dev Patel). He has been ousted from his kingdom by his father so he is now trying to work his way back into his father’s good graces. And capturing Aang will be a step in the right direction.
In the film there are numerous battles involving Aang and his enemies but none of them is very thrilling. You never get a real feeling about any of the characters so gravely facing the wrath of the natural super powers. It only causes curiosity, but the suspense fails to develop. Plus the ending of the movie sets up a sequel of sorts which hopefully is never going to happen.
Dev Patel, who pulled off such a brilliant act in ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ overacts terribly in this film. Here he is very much like someone out of a B-grade movie. Ringer appears amateurish in every way. He was obviously hired for his martial arts skills and not his acting ability.
The film is rated PG for mild violence. And on top of that, there are so many characters popping in and out of the film with no explanation as to who or what they are. This impedes the understanding of the basic plot and adds to the overall confusion of the entire presentation.
‘The Last Airbender’ is bland and boring. Whatever magic Shyamalan weaved when he created/directed ‘The Sixth Sense’ is now gone. ‘The Last Airbender’ is nothing but a huge let down.
One star for ‘The Last Airbender’.