Will that fact hurt the film upon its release? Will fans of the TV series line up in droves to see the big screen adaptation of the story that they adore?
Judging by the line around the theater for the few open seats that were available after the press took their seats at the screening SheKnows attended in Studio City, California, the answer to the latter is a most definite yes. The answer to the first question is still yet to be determined and largely will be decided by reviews such as this one and word-of-mouth.
To quote a viewer leaving the screening SheKnows attended, "That is everything you want from a movie."
In fact, it is with The Last Airbender's combination of action, humor, moral, romance and eye-popping special effects, that it truly pleases -- slightly.
Water moved at will, fire tossed from afar, the earth culled to protect and defend -- these are three-fourths of the elements and peoples at the heart of The Last Airbender. The final piece to the peace puzzle is the mover of the air, of which the Avatar of the TV title comes into play. The Avatar is the source of what connects the world in harmony. At the beginning of The Last Airbender, Nicola Peltz's Katara discovers a little boy in an ice shield who may hold the secret to restoring order to the planet.
Some things are missing. As is the case with stories that come from extended television series or books, the ability to fully capture the character essences is minimalized in a screen adaptation. The Last Airbender suffers from this problem. We wanted more from characters tossed into life-changing events than was achieved. The hints of an epic are all over The Last Airbender.
Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel is stale as The Last Airbender's nemesis.
In the first moments of the film's first act, it is not only the child actors, but the entire cast who seems to slowly warm to their characterizations.
Out of five stars:
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