Movie Review – Avatar: The Last Airbender

Latest live action version is flawed, but better than the 2010 version
Movie Review - Avatar: The Last Airbender

Paramount Pictures previous attempt to create a live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender upset the fans of the show. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the 2010 film cast white actors for Asian characters, made the bending of elements look bad, and there was no comedy even though the original show from Nickelodeon had an element of humor. So, fans didn’t have high expectations when they announced the new adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. 

I watched both the original show and the first adaptation and when I heard of this new adaptation from Netflix I wanted to watch it, just to see if this interpretation was better than the last.  I wanted the live-action to represent the show and the Asian community well because personally, this show has been a favorite of mine since I was little. Having a live-action film would be amazing. For the Asian community, this live-action version understood what they had to do. All the actors in the movie were Asian and represented the characters so nicely. The CGI and editing of the bending of the elements were awesome. They looked so realistic and made the fighting look serious and not something you would laugh at.  However, there was one thing I did dislike.  I noticed significant changes from the series, which is expected because it’s an adaptation, but they made some changes that I think shouldn’t be changed. For example, Aang the Avatar, a 12-year-old boy has the responsibilities of saving the world. In my opinion, he is too serious in the adaptation. In the series, Aang was portrayed as a kid having fun and being immature and later develops his character arc by improving from immature to mature. In the adaptation, they made him serious and just a kid who wants to escape from his duties. I also didn’t like the change to Sokka, a teenage boy helping Aang fulfill his duties. The show destroyed his character arc and made him look like the perfect guy even though he wasn’t in the animated show. He is sexist and needs to be humbled, but as the story develops he learns and overcomes this flaw. He is a much different character in the movie.

Overall, this was way better than the first adaptation, but I would still recommend the original animated series to whoever wants to start watching Avatar: The Last Airbender.

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