"Airbender" Opens Today
I had extremely high hopes for the movie adaptation of "Avatar: The Last Airbender". After all, my kids and I were huge fans of the anime cartoon series. And, M. Night Shyamalan was helming the adaptation, so I figured that he would be able to work his magic on a live-action movie version.
Sure, I had some reservations, since M. Night's last few movies ("The Happening", "The Lady in the Water") were not really that good. But, I thought, he wasn't creating a new story here, so his directoral talent should make this a slam dunk, no-brainer, awesome movie - right?
Roger Ebert savages the movie, saying it is "...is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented". Dang...that's pretty critical, even for Ebert!
The "Rotten Tomatoes" reviews are at least as bad, with only a 10% favorable rating (at the time of this posting).
Regardless of all of this negative publicity, I will still see this film. I really do love the source material. The story of Aang has a lot of depth, and I think that depth is actually what is causing some of the issues.
There is a ton of material in the first 'book' of the series. M. Night had the task to satisfy the fans of the original series with the nuances of the source material, but also make it accessible to new viewers. From the reviews, it sounds like he might have done the former, but not the latter. My kids and I will likely enjoy the movie more than someone who did not see the Nickelodeon series, just because we will 'get' the storyline. For the uninitiated, the movie will feel (as several of the "Rotten Tomatoes" reviews stated) 'disjointed' or 'choppy'.
I will be at the theater this weekend. Heck, I am obviously an Aang fanboy. Unfortunately, I fear that the whole saga of the Avatar will never be seen, since this version doesn't seem to live up to its animated counterpart.