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The Last Airbender

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The Last Airbender
The Last Airbender Poster
Theatrical release poster
Film information

Directed by

M. Night Shyamalan

Written by

M. Night Shyamalan

Music by

James Newton Howard

Cinematography

Andrew Lesnie

Release Date(s)

July 1, 2010

Language

English

Budget

$150 million

Gross Revenue

$319,713

The Last Airbender is a 2010 American fantasy adventure film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. A live-action adaptation of the first season of the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, the film stars Noah Ringer as Aang, with Dev Patel as Prince Zuko, Nicola Peltz as Katara, and Jackson Rathbone as Sokka.

PlotEdit

Fourteen-year-old Katara (Nicola Peltz) and her fifteen-year-old older brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), are near a river at the Southern Water Tribe, a small village in the South Pole. While hunting, they discover an iceberg that shoots a beam of light into the sky. Inside of the iceberg is a twelve-year-old boy named Aang (Noah Ringer) and a giant flying bison named Appa. Unknown to them, Aang is the long-lost, mighty Avatar — the only person on the planet able to "bend" all four elements. One hundred years have passed since the Fire Nation has declared war on the other three nations of Water, Earth, and Air in their attempt to conquer the world.

Zuko (Dev Patel), is an exiled prince of the Fire Nation on a quest to find the Avatar and bring him as prisoner to his father, Fire Lord Ozai (Cliff Curtis), so he can return home. Seeing the light that appeared from Aang's release, Zuko and some Fire Nation soldiers arrive at the Southern Water Tribe to demand the villagers hand over the Avatar. Aang reveals himself as he surrenders himself to Zuko on the condition that he agrees to leave the village alone. On the ship, Aang is tested by Zuko's paternal uncle Iroh (Shaun Toub) to confirm him to be the Avatar. After being informed that he is to be their prisoner for passing the test, Aang escapes using his glider and flies to his flying bison brought by Katara and Sokka. Aang and his new friends visit the Southern Air Temple where they meet a winged lemur, who Aang later names Momo. Aang also learns that he was in the ice for a whole century and that the Fire Nation wiped out all of the Air Nomads, including his guardian, Monk Gyatso. In despair, he enters the Avatar State and finds himself in the Spirit World where he encounters a Dragon Spirit that tells him that he only knows Airbending, and that he also needs to learn Waterbending, Earthbending and Firebending in order to become a fully realized Avatar. The Dragon Spirit tells him that he should learn Waterbending first, and that the best teachers are in the Northern Water Tribe as there no more experienced, master waterbenders in the Southern Water Tribe.

To seek shelter, Aang's group arrive at a little Earth Kingdom village controlled by the Fire Nation, and they are arrested because Katara tries to help a young boy escape from a Fire Nation patrol soldiers. They incite a rebellion by reminding the disgruntled earthbenders that earth was given to them. Katara is given a Waterbending scroll that she uses to greatly strengthen and hone her Waterbending and help Aang learn as they make their way to the Northern Water Tribe and liberate and secure more Earth Kingdom villages in the process, weakening the Fire Nation's food and water supplies.

During a side track to the Northern Air Temple on his own, Aang is betrayed by a peasant and captured by a "group of Fire Nation archers, led by Commander Zhao (Aasif Mandvi), a Fire Nation Commander appointed by the Fire Lord. However, a masked marauder, the "Blue Spirit", helps Aang escape from his imprisonment. Zuko is the masked vigilante, and Zhao realizes this. He arranges to kill the prince. Zuko survives the assassination attempt on his life with Iroh's help. He sneaks aboard Zhao's lead ship as his fleet departs for the Northern Water Tribe, which is a heavy fortress, to capture the Avatar. Upon arriving, Aang's group is welcomed warmly by the citizens of the Northern Water Tribe. Immediately, Sokka quickly befriends the Northern Water Tribe princess, Yue (Seychelle Gabriel). After a few agreements, a Waterbending master, Pakku (Francis Guinan), teaches Aang waterbending. Katara also becomes a much stronger and more powerful waterbender due her training with Master Pakku.

Soon, the Fire Nation arrives and Zhao begins his attack while Zuko begins his search for the Avatar on his own. After defeating Katara in a battle, Zuko captures Aang as he enters the Spirit World to find the Dragon Spirit to give him the wisdom to defeat the Fire Nation who tells him to let his emotions flow like water. Returning to his body, Aang battles Zuko before Katara freezes him. Before leaving to join the battle, Aang lowers the ice so that Zuko can breathe. As the battle escalates, Iroh watches Zhao capture the Moon Spirit, with which its Ocean Spirit counterpart had assumed the form of a fish. Despite Iroh's pleas, Zhao kills the Moon Spirit to strip all of the Waterbenders of their powers and abilities to Waterbend. Yue explains to everyone that the Moon Spirit gave her life, willing to give it back as she dies in the process. With the tables turned, Zhao finds out Zuko survived. They almost fight before Iroh appears and tells Zuko it's not worth it. Zhao is drowned by Waterbenders after Zuko and Iroh leave him to his fate. Aang remember his life before being trapped in the ice, including when he left his home seeing his masters face. With his Waterbending powers and his emotions "flowing like water" , Aang enters the Avatar State and raises the ocean into a gigantic wall in order to drive the armada back. Aang now fully embraces his destiny as the Avatar as he, Katara and Sokka prepare to continue their journey to the Earth Kingdom to find an Earthbending teacher for Aang. The Fire Lord learns of the defeat, and angry about the betrayal of his brother Iroh and the failure of his eldest son Zuko, he tasks his youngest daughter Azula (Summer Bishil) to stop the Avatar from mastering Earth and Fire before the arrival of Sozin's Comet.

CastEdit

  • Noah Ringer as Aang
    He is an Airbender who disappeared from public sight a hundred years ago. While chronologically one hundred and twelve years old, Aang still retains his biological age of twelve. He is the latest incarnation of the Avatar Spirit. Though he is capable of bending all four elements, at the beginning of the film he has only learned to Airbend. He deeply loves Katara and has strong romantic feelings for her. It is also his duty to maintain balance in the world, which conflicts with his easy-going, fun-loving personality.
  • Dev Patel as Prince Zuko
    a sixteen-year-old Fire Nation prince who travels with his uncle Iroh. The former heir to the throne, he was exiled by his father, Fire Lord Ozai, and ordered to capture the Avatar (who had not been seen in almost a century, making the assignment a wild goose chase) in order to regain his lost honor.
  • Nicola Peltz as Katara
    a fourteen-year-old girl of the Southern Water Tribe and its last remaining waterbender. Since the death of her mother, Kya, she has served as the maternal, motherly figure in her family, and is no stranger to responsibility despite her young age. She is Aang's good, close friend, and romantic love interest and sweetheart.
  • Jackson Rathbone as Sokka
    a fifteen-year-old warrior from the Southern Water Tribe and Katara's older brother. He can be condescending, and has no waterbending abilities. He often takes up leadership roles by virtue of coming up with most of the workable plans and tactics.
  • Shaun Toub as Uncle Iroh
    Zuko's paternal uncle. He is extremely easy-going and friendly, and often acts as a surrogate father to Zuko. Formerly a great general of the Fire Nation, personal tragedies led to his retirement, and the role of heir-presumptive passed to his younger brother Ozai.
  • Aasif Mandvi as Commander Zhao
    a hot-tempered Fire Nation Commander in pursuit of the Avatar. He is Zuko's principal rival.
  • Seychelle Gabriel as Princess Yue
    The princess of the Northern Water Tribe, who was Sokka's first girlfriend, and rromantic love interest. In a tragic turn of events, she sacrificed herself to save the water tribe and the balance of the earth, by turning into the moon.
  • Cliff Curtis as Fire Lord Ozai
    The leader of the Fire Nation as well as Prince Zuko's father.
  • Summer Bishil as Princess Azula
    She appears once at the battle where Zuko refuses to fight and again at the end where she accepts the role as hunter of her older brother and uncle, and destroying the Avatar. She inherited her father's pleasure of killing which makes her father choose her to take over Zuko's previous task.
  • Francis Guinan as Master Pakku
    He is a water bending master of the Northern Water Tribe; he taught Aang to water bend.
  • Randall Duk Kim as Old man in temple
    He is an Earth Kingdom villager, who often visits the remains of the Northern Air Temple.
  • Isaac Jin Solstein as Earth bending boy
    He is based on Haru of the cartoon series. He started the prison uprising by earth bending a pebble to the back of the lead Fire Nation soldier's head.
  • Keong Sim as earthbending father
    He is based on Tyro of the cartoon series. He and other Earth benders in his occupied village agreed to be imprisoned in exchange for the non-benders to live in peace. He reneged the terms of surrender by bending an earth-barrier to protect his son from the lead soldier's retaliatory Fire bending attack.
  • John Noble as Dragon Spirit
    He is a new composite character taking over the roles of Avatar Roku, Fang, Koh and Guru Pathik from the cartoon series.

MusicEdit

Main article: The Last Airbender (soundtrack)

In December 2008, James Newton Howard was announced as the composer for The Last Airbender. The film would mark the seventh collaboration between Howard and M. Night Shyamalan, after the 2008 film The Happening. Most recently, Howard received acclaim for his work with Hans Zimmer on The Dark Knight. On May 13, 2009, producer Frank Marshall announced that Howard was recording music for the teaser trailer that was later released that summer; it was later confirmed by Frank Marshall that all of the film's trailers featured original music by Howard himself. The soundtrack, released by Lakeshore Records on June 29, 2010, required Howard to hire a 119-member ensemble. Running at approximately 66 minutes, it contains eleven tracks ranging from three to seven minutes, with a twelfth track, called "Airbender Suite" running at nearly eleven minutes. Reviews for the score were overwhelmingly positive.

LinkEdit

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