Bracing against the wind  

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Airbender's Clumsy Vibe is its Charm

After the film, over Sushi, I glanced at "" on the big-screen TV and commented to my son, "too many highlights". My mom replied, "Yeah, everything's overproduced." That's something Airbender got right.

"The Last Airbender" is *not* a slick Hollywood movie. Not only that, it completely failed to capture either the campy-humor of the show, or the kung-fu fast-pased vibe of a proper anime-to-big screen remake.

So why, five minutes after the film, were we calling each other "sushi benders" and having so much fun? It was precisely because of the "old school" fantasy-flick vibe that we enjoyed it. The dialogue was stilted, good performances from Patel, Peltz, and Toub were wildly overshadowed by very, very bad performances and miscastings of the from minor characters. The "northern army" looked like a high-school marching band....

And yet, we all had a good time. It was a light, simple film ...with the production quality closer to a reality show than a blockbuster.... but I won't miss the next one.

Warning to M. Shyamalan. Don't do that again. Spend a nickel or 2 on a writer to help you with dialogue, better extras and minor characters, get some top coreogrpahy on the fight scenes, etc. Millions of cult-anime fans are willing to put up with a cute-but-clumsy first movie, but not a second.

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