I was bored Friday night after I came home from the bar, so I figured I would see if I could find anything interesting on Amazon Video On Demand. Amazon VOD works well enough, but I think that I may reactivate my Netflix membership. I don't have the time or really the desire to watch enough movies to make Netflix really worth it, but if I rent more than about 3 movies a month from Amazon, then Netflix would give me better bang for my buck. Really, I just use Hulu to satisfy most of my TV and movie needs, but occasionally I want to see a new release so I tend to use Amazon VOD.
To get back to the actual review, I came across The Last Airbender. I remembered wanting to see this movie when it came out, but it wasn't offered in 3D at my local theater, so I passed on it at the time. This movie also received some terrible reviews from the movie critics when it was released. You can check out the Rotten Tomatoes reviews. All of the previous didn't really matter to me, so I rented the movie. I'm glad that I took the chance to watch this movie.
I don't envy anyone having to make a movie out of a cartoon, but I think M. Night Shyamalan did well in converting the format of a 30 minute cartoon series to a movie. The Last Airbender was intended to be the first movie in a trilogy, so it has to be an origin story for the people who have never been exposed to the series. That makes it slow to start in a sense, but I felt the story was told with a reasonable pace. The action sequences were also good in my opinion, but the bending fights could have been more epic. That doesn't mean that they were bad, because I think they were well done. It means that they felt like they were missing that last extra bit of spit and polish. The acting was good enough for a story that resolves around a bunch of kids. I think the critics unfairly lambasted this movie. I give it a 3 out of 5, and I still want to watch the rest of the trilogy if it gets made. If you have an interest in martial arts movies or fantasy movies, then you will likely enjoy this movie.
What this movie made me want to do is watch the cartoon series from start to finish. I've seen an episode of the cartoon here and there, and I've seen the ending movie. It has interested me enough to add it to my list of things to do.