The world is divided into four kingdoms, each represented by the element they harness, and peace has lasted throughout the realms of Water, Air, Earth, and Fire under the supervision of the Avatar, a link to the spirit world and the only being capable of mastering the use of all four elements. When young Avatar Aang disappears, the Fire Nation launches an attack to eradicate all members of the Air Nomads to prevent interference in their future plans for world domination. 100 years pass and current Fire Lord Ozai continues to conquer and imprison anyone with elemental "bending" abilities in the Earth and Water Kingdoms, while siblings Katara and Sokka from a Southern Water Tribe find a mysterious boy trapped beneath the ice outside their village. Upon rescuing him, he reveals himself to be Aang, Avatar and last of the Air Nomads. Swearing to protect the Avatar, Katara and Sokka journey with him to the Northern Water Kingdom in his quest to master "Waterbending" and eventually fulfill ... Written by
The Massie Twins
During a large battle scene between the Fire Nation and the Northern Water Tribe, the camera pans to reveal a Fire Nation soldier fighting with no one. See more »
A hundred years ago all was right with our world. Prosperity and peace filled our days. / The four Nations: Water, Earth, Fire, and Air Nomads lived amongst each other in harmony. / Great respect was afforded to all those who could bend their natural element. / The Avatar was the only person born amongst all the nations who could master all four elements. / He was the only one who could communicate with the Spirit World. With the Spirits' guidance the Avatar kept balance in the ...
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The closing credits feature Aang, Katara and Zuko bending their respective elements of water, fire and air (no earth bending is demonstrated). See more »
Shyamalan takes a stunningly sophisticated cartoon and reduces it to one of the most insultingly dumb films I've seen in years. From the script to the visuals, the directing, the acting, there is absolutely nothing that did well, either as an adaptation or as a film in its own right.
Characters who were once powerful and spitfire (Katara) or entertainingly sarcastic (Sokka) are now bland and exist solely for the purpose of exposition. In fact, the entire film comes off as exposition, far too much of the dialog serving as "by the way" explanations, never allowing the plot or characters to really take form. The scenes seem episodic and unconnected, and the film never comfortably establishes its universe, always retreading with an "as you know" or "aren't you that guy who..." to establish (often unnecessary) continuity.
The style, too, is disappointing, capturing none of the magic of the series. Most noticeable was the "bending"--while the series took its martial arts seriously, carefully aligning real-world arts with elements and making the benders' movements coincide with those of their elements, the film gives us characters flailing in generic martial arts forms for a few minutes, only to effect one splash, boulder, or blast of fire. In the series, every movement had a meaning; in the film, only about one in ten does.
Many fans of the series who were angry at the "whitewashing" of the cast hoped that it had at least resulted in the best actors for the parts. However, the acting was at best uninspired, and at worst painfully awkward, though part of this can be attributed to a truly atrocious script. Dialog is stilted and unnatural, certain phrases are repeated needlessly throughout ("great library," anyone?), and in all the only chance the script stands of being remembered is through memetic appreciation of its unintentional, awkward hilarity.
Not even the collective will of a devoted fanbase wanting so much for this film to be good could make it even remotely watchable.
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