The Last Airbender (2010)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The Last Airbender squanders its popular source material with incomprehensible plotting, horrible acting, and detached joyless direction.

The Last Airbender Videos

The Last Airbender Photos

Movie Info

Suspense auteur M. Night Shyamalan takes a break from crafting original screenplays to tell this tale of a 12-year-old boy (Noah Ringer) who provides the last hope for restoring harmony to a land consumed by chaos. In a world balanced on the four nations of Water, Earth, Fire, and Air, people known as the Waterbenders, Earthbenders, Firebenders, and Airbenders have mastered their native elements. Though the masters can each manipulate their native elements, the only one with the power to manipulate all four elements is a young boy known as the Avatar. When the Avatar subsequently appears to die while still mastering his powers, the Fire nation launches a global war with the ultimate goal of global domination. One hundred years later, two teens discover that the Avatar and his flying bison have in fact been locked in suspended animation. Upon being freed from his prison, the Avatar embarks on an arduous quest to restore harmony among the four war-ravaged nations. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Rating:
PG (for fantasy action violence)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Dev Patel
as Prince Zuko
Nicola Peltz
as Katara
Shaun Toub
as Uncle Iroh
Aasif Mandvi
as Commander Zhao
Cliff Curtis
as Fire Lord Ozai
Seychelle Gabriel
as Princess Yue
Katharine Houghton
as Katara's Grandma
Francis Guinan
as Master Pakku
Damon Gupton
as Monk Gyatso
Randall Duk Kim
as Old Man in Temple
John D'Alonzo
as Zhao's Assistant
Keong Sim
as Earthbending Father
Isaac Jin Solstein
as Earthbending Boy
Edmund Ikeda
as Old Man of Kyoshi Town
John Noble
as The Dragon Spirit
Morgan Spector
as Lead Fire Nation Soldier
Karim Sioud
as Fire Nation Prison Guard
Manu Narayan
as Fire Nation Head Prison Guard
Kevin Yamada
as Earth Kingdom Prisoner
Ted Oyama
as Kyoshi Villager
Ritesh Rajan
as Fire Nation Soldier
George DeNoto
as Teahouse Child
Manuel Kanian
as Nervous Prison Guard
Christopher Brewster
as Kicking Firebender
Ryan Cyrus Shams
as Lead Archer
Jeffrey Zubernis
as Water Tribe Soldier
Brian D. Johnson
as Water Tribe Soldier
J.W. Cortes
as Fire Lord Attendant
Kevin W. Yamada
as Earth Kingdom Prisoner
Ryan Shams
as Lead Archer
Brian Johnson
as Water Tribe Soldier
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Last Airbender

All Critics (183) | Top Critics (40)

One is bored and stupefied by what seems like an eternity of vacuous spectacle, cod-Buddhist tosh and clunking dialogue.

Full Review… | August 11, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Call M. Night Shyamalan a Wood Bender -- this kiddie cast is as flat and stiff as particle board

Full Review… | July 2, 2010
I.E. Weekly
Top Critic

[T]he film works so hard to explain its plot developments that it scarcely has any time left over to dramatize them. Exposition has not merely vanquished mimesis, it has burned its homes to the ground and sown salt in its fields.

Full Review… | July 2, 2010
The Atlantic
Top Critic

Stilted dialogue, wooden acting, glacial pacing, cheesy special effects, tacky-looking sets, ugly costumes, poorly staged and edited action sequences, all shown in murky, cut-rate 3-D.

Full Review… | July 1, 2010
New York Post
Top Critic

A dull, boring, poorly acted, limply written and thoroughly unappealing fantasy, featuring bland characters locked in a struggle of no interest.

Full Review… | July 1, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

M. Night Shyamalan's big-screen live-action version of the popular Nickelodeon animated TV series constitutes a form of Chinese water torture in which tin-ear line-readings take the place of drips.

Full Review… | July 1, 2010
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Last Airbender

½

It is no surprise that after two atrocities Shyamalan couldn't make something superior, and so, by trying to comprise an entire season of the Nickelodeon animated series into one single movie, he creates an incomprehensible narrative with pedestrian dialogue and awful acting.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Decent visuals do little to save this heavily butchered live-action rendition of the first season of Nickelodeon's "Avatar: The Last Airbender". Failing to capture the delightful humor and lovely character interactions of the show, M. Night Shyamalan's first tackle at a fantasy epic is hilariously amateurish at best (If you thought he was bad trying to be Rod Serling, then watch him attempt to be George Lucas). Not only is the plot incomprehensible to anybody who hasn't watched the show, but this piece of cinematic trash is filled to the brim with wooden acting (Dev Patel, Shaun Toub, and Aasif Mandvi are the only actors that emerge with any credibility), awkwardly stilted exposition-filled dialogue, thin characterization, and ineptly choreographed action sequences. The plot will have newcomers confused and the strange alterations from it's wonderful source material will anger established fans. My advice: stick to the TV show and forget about this heap of uninspired tripe.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

½

Even as someone who is not familiar with the anime of the same name, you can tell that this has probably little to do with it. The set-up, world-building and idea behind this mythology is great and interesting. There are also a couple of genuinely fun action scenes, especially when the bender work with their elements. The main problem are the characters. Why do the main characters from the ice look Caucasian but everyone around them Inuit? Those two aren't much of actors anyway. Then there is this somewhat flat but often bratty main character. All that makes it hard to care for everything that's going on. The film is still entertaining and offers some nice special effects, gorgeous landscapes and cities. So the result is not as catastrophic as fans of the original may want to make you believe. It's not that great a movie on its own either, though. And the sequel the ending dares to hint at very strongly will probably never happen.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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