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The Last Airbender: movie review

M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Last Airbender' is a fantasy film heavy on effects and light on meaning.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / July 1, 2010

British actor Dev Patel appears as antagonist Prince Zuko in The Last Airbender.

Zade Rosenthal/Paramount Pictures/Nickelodeon Movies/Reuters

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How about a moratorium on the use of the word “avatar” in movies? I wasn’t a big fan of “Avatar” but it’s “Citizen Kane” compared with M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender,” based on the animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

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What’s an airbender, you say? Don’t ask. It has something to do with being able to bend air. Aang (Noah Ringer) is the prophesied airbender who must defend his people against the Fire Nation in its quest to dominate the tribal nations of Air, Water, and Earth.

This means we get to see a lot of airbending and also mucho water, fire, and earth bending. In cheesy 3-D.

Shyamalan has been coasting on the success of “The Sixth Sense” for a long time now, but, especially after his last two debacles, “Lady in the Water” and “The Happening,” you would think he’d can the hocus-pocus and settle into something a bit more, well, lucid. “The Last Airbender” is like a Care Bears movie that got waylaid in the fourth dimension. It’s insufferably silly. Grade: D (Rated PG for fantasy, action, and violence.)

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