The skeletal structure of The Last Airbender is fantastic. It has a story rich in mythological background, a riveting and sophisticated plot, and beautiful visuals. Having said that, it has terrible pacing and jarring dialogue, which I blame on the master massacrer of film, Mr. Shyamalanalan.
When I saw the film, I was able to set aside the fact that everyone pronounced Aang’s name wrong. I was even able to set aside some of the out-of-place dialogue. But the pacing and editing was unbelievable. At times, it was so choppy that it was difficult to follow what was going on. It moved so quickly to try to fit in an entire season’s worth of plot that all character development and deeper plot development was lost. There were few scenes that lingered on one shot for more than sixty seconds, and the shots that did take up more time were baffling ones of meaningful glances instead of plot explanation.
As badly as Nighty Night butchered the adaption, the story itself is so appealing that it did shine through to a certain extent. I enjoyed watching the world that was created and the live-action benders. I just wish the film had let me enjoy it a little more.
When all is said and done, I would recommend this movie to fans of visual effects and epic fantasy tales (and obviously to anyone who watched the animated show on Nickelodeon—which company changed its logo by the way, and the logo’s premiere in the opening credits interested me almost as much as the film itself). Otherwise, I think you’d find yourself lost in the complicated plot and hating life.