Home Entertainment ‘Avatar: The Final Airbender’ sequence overview: A step up from the movie, but misses mark by miles

‘Avatar: The Final Airbender’ sequence overview: A step up from the movie, but misses mark by miles

‘Avatar: The Final Airbender’ sequence overview: A step up from the movie, but misses mark by miles


Gordon Cormier in a scene from the series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’

Gordon Cormier in a scene from the sequence ‘Avatar: The Final Airbender’
| Picture Credit score: Robert Falconer

“Let go of the previous or you’ll by no means have a future.” It is a lesson that Aang, the protagonist of Avatar: The Final Airbender, learns, however it’s also one thing that embodies the journey the live-action adaptation of the insanely well-known animated tv sequence of the identical identify needed to take. With the tele-series breaking a number of viewership data, M Evening Shyamalan made a movie adaptation that was critically panned and it has taken greater than a decade for the franchise to get a live-action adaptation. Whereas the brand new Netflix sequence is best than the movie — which carried out so poorly {that a} deliberate trilogy was finally scrapped — the sequence nonetheless comes wanting being a befitting adaptation of the cult animated present.

Extra of a crash course on the story of a two-decade-old franchise, Avatar: The Final Airbender willingly makes use of tropes which are as previous because the hills. On this universe, kingdoms are break up based mostly on the weather (hearth, water, air and earth) its habitants can telekinetically management (a capability they name ‘bending’). Whereas individuals can solely bend one of many components, there’s all the time a demi-god amongst them, often known as Avatar, who can bend all the weather. It’s unsurprisingly a shock to everybody, together with the 12-year-old airbender Aang (Gordon Cormier) that he’s the brand new Avatar. When the power-hungry Hearth Nation individuals kill all of the airbenders besides the Avatar, he will get Steve Roger-ed on ice for 100 years till a sibling duo Katara (Kiawentiio) and Sokka (Ian Ousley) inadvertently carry him again to life. The three crew as much as, you guessed it, save the world.

ALSO READ: Review of M Night Shyamalan’s 2010 film, ‘The Last Airbender’ 

There are fairly just a few causes the animated sequence gained cult standing and one in every of them is the goofiness you’d anticipate from cartoons; whereas the brand new adaption tries to double as ‘Avatar for Adults’, it fails to pander to each units of audiences. There are the occasional jokes — and pictures like Aang recreating the scene from the animated sequence the place he airbends round and hits a statue — however the sequence doesn’t set the tone straight and does no justice to the fantasy world full of legendary creatures and magic; an issue that we encountered with Disney’s live-action variations as properly.

Avatar: The Final Airbender (English)

Showrunner: Albert Kim 

Forged: Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio, Ian Ousley, Dallas Liu, Paul Solar-Hyung Lee

Episodes: 8

Runtime: 47–63 minutes

Storyline: The Avatar, who’s but to grasp his strengths, has to revive the steadiness of the world by standing up towards an over-ambitious nation

However what’s extra troubling is the break-neck pace the sequence travels and the way it nonetheless rakes up a seven-plus hour runtime. Why was Aang the chosen one? What’s with the comet? Why are Hearth Nation of us so…fiery? Regardless of feeling just a little too lengthy, the present doesn’t get into such intriguing particulars.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, left, and Dallas Liu in a scene from the series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’

Paul Solar-Hyung Lee, left, and Dallas Liu in a scene from the sequence ‘Avatar: The Final Airbender’
| Picture Credit score:
Robert Falconer

What comes as a much-welcomed transfer is its neat casting, one thing the 2010 movie not solely didn’t nail however was additionally rightfully criticised for whitewashing the forged listing regardless of the supply materials’s affect being East Asian and Inuit tradition. Cormier is ideal as Aang, embodying the character’s infantile nature, the willingness to make pals with enemies and the facility to take cost when required. Dallas Liu, because the scarred Prince Zuko, who has been exiled and is scorching on the heels to seize Aang, is equally good. On paper, the parallels between these two are good — each have been raised to be what they’re destined to be since childhood; each lengthy for good companions; they’ve their very own missions that they can’t fail at; and whereas Aang appears for a mentor in lots of after he loses his, Zuko’s mentor is his father who considers his personal blood to be a weakling. Nevertheless, these parallels not often translate on the display screen.

The motion sequences are fairly respectable and the ultimate episode is visually beautiful, however the visible results usually are not persistently in nice high quality. The animated sequence, regardless of being focused at kids, addressed a number of themes like warfare, imperialism, genocide and ladies’s empowerment. Contemplating how the brand new sequence largely focuses on a relatively older goal group, these subjects may have been explored additional. As an alternative, what we get are heavy expositions and predictable plotlines. As an illustration, the minute we’re instructed about water’s therapeutic skills, we all know it’ll be put to make use of later within the story. Or, when Katara is instructed that girls don’t take part in wars, no factors for guessing if she’s going to go on to do it.

It additionally will get painfully apparent that the trio are going to be unfazed on the finish of the season and therefore, the stakes are by no means too excessive. Uni-dimensional secondary characters and underdeveloped interpersonal dynamics amidst the trio don’t assist both. Simply final 12 months, Netflix hit the bullseye with the live-action adaptation of One Piece. This time, nonetheless, it has didn’t recreate the magic with Avatar: The Final Airbender. Regardless of being a largely devoted adaptation with respectable performances and a few stable sequences, capturing the true essence of the basic animated present appears to be a job too large even for the Avatar. Provided that he may bend minds!

Avatar: The Final Airbender is at present streaming on Netflix


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