So last night we went down the rabbit-hole and fired up the Multiverse Cinema Box to watch M. Night Shyamalan’s “Last Airbender”. Apart from the casting issues, particularly with the Water Tribe, the beginning of the film started off pretty strong and faithful to the original series. Things began to veer off course quickly, but gave us a few course corrections that made bad choices a little better. If you were to ask Mrs. Multiverse, she didn’t like it at all. Apart from a few scenes here and there, it was a pass for her. The mispronunciation of many of the character names were sticking points that jolted her out of the story.
That’s pretty much for me as well. I’ve been involved in martial arts since 1985, and a fan long before that. I have been exposed to many styles from many cultures, thus (wow… sounding pretty pretentious there, Doc) I can see through somebody faking their way through martial movements. There is nothing worse than watching somebody go through(ish) the movements while lacking any intention or emotional content. This is why I couldn’t watch Iron Fist, no matter how excited I was for that to be released. There were many cringe-worthy moments for me in this regard.
Having said that… the young man who plays Aang is an outstanding practitioner who has a very high level of actual skill. He isn’t using Bagua like the main character does in the series, but he is extremely good in Wushu. I found his staff work to be delightful, and the appearance of the glider mode of his staff was one of those fun moments of the film.
The only characters who I enjoyed were General Iroh and Princess Yue of the Northern Water Tribe.
Imdeiatly after the film concluded we played the first five episodes of Avatar: the Last Airbender, and cleansed our mental pallets. The movie lacked the joy of Aang, simply being Aang, and much of the warmth of the character interactions. It was too much story crammed into too little time, with too little fun.
The upshot of this trip down the rabbit-hole… we are re-watching Avatar again. It feels like coming home. After that finishes Korra will not be far behind.