Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Last Airbender

Why do we watch movies? Or why do I pay to watch movies. Easy isn’t it? To get something-entertainment, to learn something new or to gain knowledge. So what happen when a movie doesn’t do even one of them. 


Someone told me, for god’s sake it’s only based on a cartoon series. Yeah, if it’s from SMURF, it’s ok to make up new stories since it has no source material but it’s from AVATAR:The Last Airbender, a very very good series. Frankly I didn’t finish the series so when the movie came out I was kinda happy cuz I’d get to see how it ended.


I know it’s impossible to cram the whole season to fit 1 and half hour movie. So what? Choose the part that is really, really important that showcases the plot, settings, character development and that enhances the theme. If you intend to do a trilogy, the first film should be laying down the foundations of what ‘benders’ are, what world do they live in, culture. What is the problem etc etc. What they did was ok so let me tell you the bad guys are the Fire Nation. They are bad cuz they have these fricking huge mechanical ships that spew fire pew pew. And Zuko is kinda bad cuz he’s all out to capture The Avatar. You don’t TELL the audience who is evil-you GIVE EVIDENCE through their actions and words. WTH? Didn’t they watch The Lord of The Rings? The first film establishes a lot about the Middle Earth, the kinds of inhabitants be them Hobbits, Wizards, Orcs, Elves, Dwarves and it lays the premise of the story-that The One Ring is evil because it corrupts, which enhances the theme ‘Power Corrupts’ and ‘Good versus Evil’


Aang-he’s funny, inquisitive, playful and innocent. Much like a little kid. MovieAang SAYS he’s playful but never once we see him playaround with Appa or the guys! And he’s emo too sheesh

Katara-she’s funky, resourceful and the mastermind. MOVIE Katara is so annoying I feel like telling her to shut up! She must retell everything to Aang like Aang is some autistic kid. Oh all the sudden, we must save Aang cuz we’re responsible for him since we found him in the ice crap. Why didn’t you stop the firepeople earlier?

Sokka-easily my fave character in the series, he’s funny, SARCASTIC, resourceful and charming. MOVIESokka is, well, wooden, dumb and well, USELESS. Where’s his famous SOKASM?

Zuko-he’s this brooding, bitter and resentful boy but he has this air of righteousness and nobility that you could not help but to like him. Think of Sasuke from Naruto. But MOVIEZuko is emo, emo, emo and whiny too. Ok so your dad kicked your ass, gave you a scar and love your sister more but I don’t see any redeeming values in him. The anime Zuko is at least kind to his subordinates but MOVIEZuko treats them badly SHEESH


LOL Indians wearing ancient samurai costumes and drink tea, eat using chopstick and Caucasians wearing native Americans costumes and an African American head monk. What next? Pasta eating earthbenders?

Apparently went missing when the content matter has much it can weave about. When the movie was over, I asked myself, what was theme? NOTHING. Nobody learned anything. Zuko changed side but I don’t buy it, it was so sudden! And Aang said ‘we could be friends’ out of nowhere. And why did he say that? This was the boy who captured you once and tried to kill you twice and Aang suddenly wanna forgive him?
The series had much better themes-The destruction of Nature, Nature vs Man, Nature vs Machines. Zuko’s redemption, Good vs Evil, necessary sacrifice, acceptance of fate/destiny, and friendship.

In conclusion

I’m not saying please make another movie EXACTLY like the series. It’s pointless to follow the series to the tee since they had different directors and different audience. I’m saying please stop vilifying the series. Please get the nature of the characters correct and some character development please. I actually LOVE the idea of displacement, like making Indians the Japanese and white people as native Americans but you didn’t give us enough character development to make it believable. If it’s very hard, please rewatch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. Alfonso Cuaron made the book a bit darker than it should be but he didn’t go way out. Harry, Ron and Hermione are still the same trio we get since the first book and film. And that’s all you need to get it right.

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