Disclaimer: I have never seen the cartoon, so I am not commenting on the level of accuracy compared to its original source. Nor am I commenting on the quality of the film compared to the cartoon. I am, however, commenting on the film for its acting and production.
M. Night Shyamalan usually directs great movies. I own “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs” and love both of them. However, I have to say that you should not waste your money on this movie, even if you did like th cartoon. This is definitely a wait-for-DVD movie and here’s why.
The script is weak. I don’t care how many people say, well it was based on a cartoon, so what did they have to work with? It doesn’t matter what it comes from, the script was dry. It was chalked full of corny one-liners that no one in the audience laughed at. If anything we cringed and sank lower in our seats as the actors attempted to work with it. I am convinced that the script’s lack of creativity is the reason for the Twilight Saga’s Jackson Rathbone’s not-so-great performance. He was given a lot of this-is-what-I’m-doing lines, which really doesn’t give him a lot to work with when developing a character. At least, that’s how I see it. It was nice to see him in a different setting than the vampire who constantly looks constipated in Twilight, but I wish he could have been given a …better… part. Eh.
The better actors in the movie were the youngsters, which is kind of an insult to all the older actors in the film. Nicola Peltz (Katara) and Noah Ringer (aang) kind of stole the show with their innocent emotions and raw talent. Also, these kids can move! It was more entertaining to watch them control the elements and move through a battle scene than Rathbone. And this does NOT make me a pedophile. It’s the truth. They rocked it compared to the other actors, so kudos for possibly having a decent career in the future kiddos.
Something weird that a friend of mine who went with me pointed out was that none of the actors were Asian like in the cartoon, which took away an element of familiarity to the die-hard fans of the original source. I noticed it, too, and it was kind of distracting. Whoops, M. Night.
Well, that’s my two cents. If you find this review faulty because I haven’t watched the cartoon, go see the movie, and tell me what you think.
I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars. Points given for the battle scenes and young actors, points taken away for…everything else.