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Wednesday, 4th August 2010
Movie Review: The Last Airbender (2010)
By Kevin Walton

The world is divided into four kingdoms, each represented by the element they harness, and peace has lasted throughout the realms of Water, Air, Earth, and Fire under the supervision of the Avatar, a link to the spirit world and the only being capable of mastering the use of all four elements. When young Avatar Aang disappears, the Fire Nation launches an attack to eradicate all members of the Air Nomads to prevent interference in their future plans for world domination. 100 years pass and current Fire Lord Ozai continues to conquer and imprison anyone with elemental "bending" abilities in the Earth and Water Kingdoms, while siblings Katara and Sokka from a Southern Water Tribe find a mysterious boy trapped beneath the ice outside their village. Upon rescuing him, he reveals himself to be Aang, Avatar and last of the Air Nomads. Swearing to protect the Avatar, Katara and Sokka journey with him to the Northern Water Kingdom in his quest to master "Waterbending" and eventually fulfill his destiny of once again restoring peace to the world. But as they inch nearer to their goal, the group must evade Prince Zuko, the exiled son of Lord Ozai, Commander Zhao, the Fire Nation's military leader, and the tyrannical onslaught of the evil Fire Lord himself.
(Plot summary written by The Massie Twins, cited at imdb.com (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0938283/plotsummary)).

Having never seen any of the original Avatar anime series, I quite enjoyed this movie. I was impressed with the special effects, the storyline and the overall concept of the world that the characters live in. I understand, however, that fans of the original series have found this movie to be a great disappointment and an insult to the original series.

I’m not a fan of anime; in fact, quite frankly I can’t stand it; however, my interest has been sparked by this movie and the reviews I’ve read by fans of the original series and now I’m quite keen to see the original series for myself.

I felt that Noah Ringer performed his role well as Aang, The Avatar. According to his profile at imdb.com, this appears to be his first acting role. If this is indeed the case, then I am certainly very impressed and I think he will go a very long way in this industry. Nicola Peltz also did very well as Katara, as did Jackson Rathbone as Sokka.
On the other hand, the acting of Dev Patel (as Prince Zuko) and Aasif Mandvi (as Commander Zhao) were pathetic at best. They both appear quite amateur and their performances were trite and unconvincing.
It was nice to see a Kiwi in the mix with Cliff Curtis playing the role of Fire Lord Ozai. I think he played the role quite well, although the New Zealand accent on the big screen still grates against my nerves a little.

Over all, I think it’s a good movie for anyone who enjoys fantasy / sci-fi movies with lots of impressive special effects and who has not seen the original Avatar anime series.

Check out the trailer on YouTube from the link above.


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