After his last few lackluster big screen debacles, M. Night Shyamalan is leaving the suspense thriller genre behind and trying his hand at family action/adventure.
Based on the popular animated television series, “The Last Airbender” revolves around the Water, Earth, Fire and Air nations. In this world, the master of all four elements and the keeper of the peace is known as the Avatar (no, not that “Avatar” — the word was dropped from the film’s title to avoid confusion with that other little movie of the same name). But 100 years ago, he disappeared, and the Fire nation waged a war on the other three nations.
The fate of the world lies in the hands of 12-year-old Aang (Noah Ringer), the new Avatar and the last of the Airbenders, or Air nation nomads. As he attempts to master all four elements, he must put an end to the war by defeating the evil prince Zuko (Dev Patel) before peace can be restored to the nations.
Though I had never heard of the TV show before hearing about this movie, apparently it’s very popular among young viewers, a sign the film version could be a box office hit. The story sounds interesting enough, and I look forward to seeing Patel step into another role following his breakthrough performance in “Slumdog Millionaire.”
Hopefully, Shyamalan will have better luck with this adaptation than he’s had with his own original material lately. After all, “The Last Airbender” can’t be worse than “Lady in the Water” or “The Happening.” Can it?
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