The live-action Avatar film is titled “The Last Airbender.” It was released in 2010 and was directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film was based on the first book of the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” TV Series. And was initially planned as a trilogy. But after the film’s release, it failed to impress the audiences, and even the most loyal of fans were disappointed with the result that they got to see in the theatres.
As a result, the film did not have an impressive run at the box office. And the planned sequels were canceled. In this article, we will look at the plot of the film and the reasons behind its failure at the box office, as well as some of the controversies that this film had its share.
The plot of The Live-Action Avatar Film
The Last Airbender was based on the first book of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was envisioned as a faithful adaptation, and the film mostly stayed loyal to its source material. The movie started when a hundred years of the war had passed since Fire Nation had declared war on the remaining nations to complete their conquest of the entire Avatar universe. Sokka and Katara discover an unusual iceberg, and on closer inspection, they see Aang and Appa trapped in it.
They free both of them, and this breaking of the iceberg in which Aang and Appa were trapped releases a beam of light. Zuko discovers this beam who himself is searching for the Avatar. And this search leads him to Karara and Sokka’s village in the Southern Water Tribe. There Aang surrenders himself to save the town but manages to escape with the help of Appa, Katara, and Sokka. After it is revealed that he is the Avatar, they head to the Southern Air Temple, only for Aang to discover that the entire civilization of the Air Nomads has been wiped out. And in grief, he enters an Avatar state.
After leaving the Air Temple, they are trapped in an Earth Kingdom colony where they incite rebellion and free the people from their Fire Nation invaders. Aang then reveals that he is the Avatar, but he still needs to master the remaining elements to stop the Firelord. They then start their journey towards the Northern Water Tribe so that Aang can master Waterbending next.
Ending of Live-Action Avatar Film
Aang and Katara are trained by Master Paku there. Meanwhile, Commander Zhao leads an invading fleet of naval ships to the Northern Water Tribe to capture the Avatar. We also get to see “The Blue Spirit,” an alter-ego of Zuko, which he uses to save Avatar from Zhao so that he can himself capture him.
When Commander Zhao reaches Northern Water Tribe and battle ensues, and he can kill the Moon Spirit. Uncle Iroh shows Zhao his mastery of Firebending, and a frightened Zhao runs away before he is captured and drowned by Waterbenders. Meanwhile, Aang enters his Avatar state after being guided by the Dragon spirit. And manipulates the ocean waves to destroy the Fire Nation fleet and save the Northern Water Kingdom. At the same time, princess Yue sacrifices her life to restore the Moon Spirit.
After the Firelord is informed about this defeat, he tasks his daughter Azula to stop the Avatar.
Why Did The Movie Flop
There were many reasons behind the flop of this film. We will discuss these reasons in this section.
1. Movie Runtime
The movie was only 90 minutes long and the book that it was based on comprised 20 episodes. The audiences were very disappointed that the film was not long enough. And due to this, crucial scenes were not included in the movie.
2. Dull Plot And Direction
The plot was very dull and was not helped by the equally non-engaging direction of the film. M. Night Shymalan is an excellent director but this film was called his worst to date.
3. Casting Controversy
The film was universally criticized for whitewashing as most of the actors were white and were not cast from the Asian ethnicities on which the show was based. And due to this reason, the first impression of the film was negative.
4. Poor Acting
As the whitewashing Controversy was not enough. The cast managed to strike the wrong chords with the audiences once again when they delivered incredibly dull and poor acting performances. These performances were not engaging enough for the audiences instead of the TV show.
Future Of Live-Action Avatar
Netflix announced a live-action TV series, and as of now, the four lead characters have been finalized for the show. This time, the creators have cast actors that belong to Asian ethnicities, avoiding the whitewashing title of “The Last Airbender.”
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