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The Last Airbender

Released

Latest Home Video

Nov 16, 2010

MPAA Rating:

PG


Run Time:

103

Director

M. Night Shyamalan

Cast

Noah Ringer

Nicola Peltz

Dev Patel

Jackson Rathbone

Studio

2010 Paramount Pictures

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: The Last Airbender.

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Reviewed by

Overall B
ViolenceC+
SexA
LanguageA
Drugs/AlcoholA
Run Time103

Making the Grades

One hundred years ago, the nations of Air, Water, Earth and Fire lived in peace. In each kingdom were people of exceptional powers who were able to control and manipulate their respective elements. But then the Fire Nation began to burn for dominance. First they attacked the nomads of the Air, to insure they did not give birth to an Avatar—an individual capable of mastering all four elements. Then they began enslaving the citizens of Water and Earth, killing any who possessed the art of "bending".

Even though Katara (Nicola Peltz) and her brother Sokka (Jackson Rathbone) live in a remote and snow covered corner of the world, the threat of the Fire Nation is ever present—especially after she finds she has a talent for bending water.

Then one day while out hunting, the pair stumbles upon a human figure frozen within a ball of ice. When Katara impetuously frees and revives the curiously tattooed boy, she is unaware that she is actually releasing Aang (Noah Ringer), the long lost Avatar. And his return doesn’t stay a secret very long.

Prince Zuko (Dev Patel), the disgraced son of the king of the Fire Nation, can think of no better way to redeem his honor than to capture the Avatar. Unfortunately, his father’s ambitious commander (Aasif Mandvi) also believes taking Aang as a prisoner will insure a promotion. Many battles ensue as the two compete for the prize. These martial arts conflicts feature weapons and hand-to-hand combat that are intricately choreographed and often played in slow motion.

Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Aang is a little unsure of his destiny. Afraid of the responsibility associated with his powerful role and not completely trained to carry it out, he looks to his newfound friends for support. And Katara and Sokka willingly join him on a voyage of discovery that will lead them across the globe searching for teachers (both mortal and spirital) who still know the secrets of bending, so he can one day restore balance to the people and elements.

Based on an animated TV series produced by Nickelodeon (the movie covers the first season, which was titled Book One: Water) this live action version will likely be appreciated by fans. Certainly the quality of the production is top notch, with amazing special effects. Parents too will find little fault with the sanitized portrayals of violence. (Despite all the battles there is no blood except for a cut lip and only a few characters appear to die.) Sexual content is limited to a kiss, and foul language is non-existent. Those sensitive to religious depictions should be aware that the script includes eastern philosophies and references to reincarnation.

Yet something is missing. Somehow the characters and the storyline remain flat regardless of the continuous conflicts and perilous moments (a surprise seeing how M. Night Shyamalan of The Sixth Sense fame directed and penned the screenplay). Perhaps it is because the plot speeds along, seldom stopping to build emotion. Or maybe there just isn’t a sense of escalation between war scenes. Whatever the reason, this lack of rise and fall may prove disappointing for those looking for an action-adventure rollercoaster.

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Review

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Last Airbender.

The Avatar is told he should not kill or injure anyone. What circumstances make this hard for him? What lengths does he go to in order to keep this covenant? Do characters in movies typically keep such promises?

In the world in which they live, each of the characters is told they were born for a reason and must seek their destiny. How do you feel about the concept of “destiny?” Do you believe you have a life mission to find and fulfill?

Trailers & Clips

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Violence.
AB PG
MB PG Violence.
ON PG Violence, Not Recommended for Young Children
QC G
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of The Last Airbender...

On November 16, 2010, The Last Airbender releases on DVD and Blu-ray. Both the single disc DVD and Blu-ray version of the movie offer these bonus extras:

  Origins of the Avatar

  Deleted Scenes: Talk to the Dead, Water Teaches Us Emotion, Water Tribe Battle and Field Ablaze.

  Gag Reel

The Last Airbender also releases in a Two-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray. This edition includes:

- Feature Film on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy

- Nine -part Documentary: Discovering The Last Airbender

- Inspirations   Co-creators of the show and M. Night Shyamalan give insight into the inner journey the characters take

- Spirituality   Explore the deeper spirituality that colors The Last Airbender

Heroes   Aang, Katara and Sokka journey together to save the world; behind-the-scenes piece provides a closer look at these characters and the actors

- Greenland   With sub-zero shoots on glaciers and frozen rivers just a few hundred miles from the North Pole, travel with the filmmakers to Greenland to meet the locals and experience the magnificent landscapes captured for the powerful opening of the film

- World   The sets, props, costumes and make-up that helped bring to life four unique nations in the film, each with a distinct look and style

- Action   With the film’s “bending” rooted in Martial Arts, uncover Shyamalan’s process with Noah Ringer to create complex, heart-pounding action sequences

- Effects   Closer look at the jaw-dropping cinematography and special effects that were created to blend seamlessly with ILM’s computer generated imagery

- Music   Longtime creative collaboration between M. Night Shyamalan and composer James Newton Howard is celebrated in the film’s sweeping score

- Finale   The journey culminates in one breathtaking moment on the ice wall

Featurettes: Siege of the North, Origins of the Avatar and Katara for a Day

- Deleted Scenes

- Gag Reel

- Avatar Annotations (Picture-in-picture on select scenes)

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Jenny_w_penny says: Jul. 01, 2010

Thank you for your review of this movie. I have decided to take my daughter to see this now!  We love watching the cartoon series and this will be her first live action movie to see that actually contains some violence. 

Aang, the Avatar is a wonderful character.  He is a true friend, quick to apologize if he does things against his conscience. He really is a great character that children can look up to, and I love that about Aang.  He also cares a great deal for humanity (both enemies and innocents), animals, and the environment.  This movie is based off of Eastern religion, and it plays a VERY HEAVY roll in the movie.  If you do not want your children exposed to that, I would avoid this movie.

RosemaryG says: Jul. 19, 2010

After reading your site’s review, I decided to take my 2 children (ages 8 & 10) to see the movie.  I was very pleasantly surprised: absolutely no swearing, not even “hell” or “damn”, which are so prevalent nowadays kids think they’re all right to say; no blood, gore or ridiculously over-the-top violence; a lot of courage, loyalty, perseverance and friendhip in the face of fear and evil - overall, excellent.  There is, as the other mom stated, a lot of Eastern philosophy and religious elements, but it never hurts to hear other ideas and learn new things.  My son liked it so much he chose to see it again in 3-D.  Great kid-friendly movie!

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