My wife as we were leaving Airbender hit upon something. She said it seems they dumbed this down for little kids, I think that was one of the major problems. Now what sort of complete idiot would take a children s show and dumb it down for children? Lady s and gentleman I give you M knight Shymalan.
Yes everything you have heard of is essentially true. The script reads like it was written by a 6 year old. Several times Katara literally tells us what we should have been seen. It something like this
" Aang and us fought of massive hordes of fire nation soldiers. Sokka used his boomerang to great effect. I learned new waterbending techniques, oh and there was this guy selling cabbage. But we aren't going to show you any of this because we don't have the budget." This happened several times. We didn't even get to see Aang crash into the sea. This should have been the first thing we saw.
Acting was not as bad as I expected. The biggest problem was the characters had nothing to do. They either just stood there or recited bad exposition. Katara was by far the worst. She was a pale pale imitation of her former self. Sokka had nothing to do. Sokka is supposed to be a sort of Xander character. There is a lot going on beneath Sokkas surface then we see. I think the actor could have done it with good writers. But no Sokka just stands there!!!
The kid who played Aang was adorable. But again he was given nothing to do. In the begining we see some of that trademark Aangness but it soon fades away.
Zuko was the best of child actors. And I saw glimpses of my favorite character in Patels performance. Patel could have pulled this off. In fact he was there, then he started yelling. Zuko was constantly yelling. Its like M night told him to remember this is a cartoon. Because damn it was cartoonish. However when Zuko was playing off of Iroh he was fine.
Speaking of Iroh. Iroh was great, he was wise and he was gentle. You could see the love he had for his nephew. The best scenes of the movie were of Zuko and Iroh. The two had great chemistry. There's a scene where Iroh is trying to convince Zuko to give up this futile search. They were wonderful together. So yes Iroh was the best actor.
Cinematography was good, Soundtrack was great. FX were ok. Appa and Momo look a little on the CG side. The buildings and the world were beyond neat to see in live action. But unfortunately the script sucked Sky Bison.