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The Last Airbender


The Details

The Last Airbender
One and a half stars
Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Rated PG
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The Last Airbender
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The Last Airbender, adapted by M. Night Shyamalan from a popular animated series, opens with an expository text crawl explaining the history of the movie’s world. The exposition continues for the entire running time, via narration and terrible dialogue in which characters woodenly lay out the histories of various places, people and groups. All that exposition concerns yet another sci-fi/fantasy Chosen One—Aang (Ringer), the title character and the only person in this world who can “bend” the four elements of air, water, earth and fire. The battles are only slightly more exciting than the exposition, the acting is laughable, and the characters are flat. The ending sets up a proposed trilogy, but if we’re lucky, the series will stop here.


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Previous Discussion:

  • A balance of strong humor with serious danger and uncertainty with a cast full of great actors.

  • Remarkably, the film gradually neutralizes its apparent protagonist, adding to a harrowing experience.

  • Ken Jeong has had scene-stealing roles as oddball characters, but a little of his manic energy goes a long way.

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