Monday, July 26, 2010


Salt - Directed by Phillip Noyce, written by Kurt Wimmer, starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, and Chiwetel Ejiofor - Rated PG-13

Jolie is slightly badass in this, but the Kurgan could take her.

When you watch as many movies as I do, you start to see patterns in every genre and things get very boring. I went into Salt, the latest Angelina Jolie spy film, expecting a typical, safe movie that would be completely forgettable. I was pleasantly surprised to see an exciting action film that does not play it safe, but rather goes all out. Salt is not a great film or anything, but it is a film that takes risks and usually succeeds.

The title alone set up my negative expectations to the film. I could already imagine the cheesy jokes about the possible sequel: Pepper. I still don’t care for the title, but don’t let it keep you from checking out the film. The title is Jolie’s character: Evelyn Salt. Salt is a CIA agent about to take a desk job so she can enjoy a calm life with her husband. Things go awry when a Russian defector shows up claiming that an agent named Evelyn Salt is actually a Russian spy and will attempt to kill the Russian president. Salt doesn’t stick around to get questioned and the chase is on.

Up to that point, I felt the film was in “safe” territory. Going with Russian villains (that’s never been done in a spy movie!), a relatively weak threat (sorry, Russia, in movie land, your president is a bland target), and a typical chase film involving an accused spy. And that is what the first twenty minutes of Salt is, a typical movie, but thankfully that quickly changes. The stakes are raised, the action is competent, and the formula is played with.

The formula I’m referring to concerns the accused spy. Normally, in a film like this, the accused spy is definitely innocent. In Salt, I honestly didn’t know if she was with the CIA or the Russians. That really kept the film interesting to me. I felt like I was watching something truly new. This is not a groundbreaking ploy or anything, but the possibility that Salt is actually the villain of the film made it much more entertaining.

The action, the story, and the formula works, but this film also hinges on whether or not you buy into Angelina Jolie as a tough CIA field agent. This isn’t her first action movie or anything, but I think some people still have doubts about her believability in these roles. I actually prefer Jolie in action films over dramas. I like watching her take down multiple enemies with ease. I completely buy into her as an action star and if you’re just looking for a movie that features a lady who can kick the crap out of dudes, then look no further.

Jolie is fine, but the supporting cast really makes this film solid. Chiwetel Ejiofor (2012, Children of Men) and Liev Schreiber (Wolverine, The Manchurian Candidate) are two of the best actors working today and they add credibility to any film they are in. I definitely see some Academy Awards in their future. I like that these guys are not going for the award-bait films lately, but rather have lent their services to big budget and B-movie fare. I’m not saying good actors should only go for the money; it’s just nice to see great actors in less artistic-type films.

I want to get back into the whole Russian spy angle of this film. The plot of the film concerns a Russian agent who trains orphans from a very young age to act like Americans, and then place them in American society and government until the day they are asked to serve the motherland. This might’ve seemed a little on the goofy side if not for the fact that it has sort of happened. Recently, a number of Russian spies who had lived in America for years were discovered. It felt like the Cold War was still going on. It’s amusing how this film’s release nearly coincided with that discovery and it certainly adds a little believability to the story.

Credibility and seriousness aside, this is a very fun movie. A few actions scenes are over the top in a good way. I particularly enjoyed the scene in which Salt controls a vehicle by jolting the driver with a taser. There a few enjoyable spy moments as well, the most notable is a disguise moment late in the film that has a borderline goofy feel, but still worked.

This is not a film without faults, though. The story has some definite plot holes that take a lot of assuming and disbelief to explain away. I forgive the film its problems, though, because the rest of it works so well. Fair warning, though, this movie seems dumber the more you look into it. I suggest you take the film at face value. Save the microscope for guys like Kubrick.

Enjoy Salt for what it is: a spy film in which Angelina Jolie beats up multitudes of enemies with ease and that includes a few twists and some fine acting. I wish it had a different title, because I honestly think this film deserves a sequel…in the future I just don’t want to tell a theatre worker, “One for Pepper.”

Random notes (SPOILERS) - This may become a regular thing...

I have to comment on the ending of this film (note the SPOILER warning above...). I mentioned plot holes in the regular review and I wanted to point out the biggest one, in my opinion. So Salt is captured, Liev Schreiber is assumed to be some kind of hero, and the President is unconscious. Umm...okay. The President witnessed Schreiber kill an entire room full of people before he was knocked out. Are we assuming that the President would forget all of that? Otherwise, Salt would indeed look like the hero since she wasn't the one who killed everyone AND she stopped the nuclear launch. I know this can all be explained away a bit, but I don't buy any explanations that I've read so far. It's asking too much to assume that the President would just think Schreiber is in cahoots with Salt. Schreiber's plan just makes no sense. Why didn't he just kill the President? It would take care of the whole witness problem. There was no need to keep him alive. There was no way that the President would have taken credit for the nuclear launch had it gone through, so killing him would be good to just tie up loose ends. I don't know, it all just bothered me a bit. Like I said in the review, though, this didn't ruin the film for me or anything, it just left me scratching my head a bit as I walked out.

Why was Andre Braugher in this? He may not be an A-lister (though he did get nominated for an Emmy), but he's certainly a recognizable actor who deserves more than one line of dialogue. His part could have been played by a nobody. It's damn near a role an extra could fill. It just surprised me to see him in this.

I know it's cheesy as hell, but I loved this part:
"But I'm the National Security Advisor!"
Schreiber, after putting what seems like a whole clip in the guy: "Not anymore."

Saturday, July 17, 2010


*Quick note - I am giving this film a Vader. If you look at my rating system, you'll see that I claim that Vader represents the "perfect" movie. I've been meaning to change this for a while. It should say "near-perfect." I don't believe there is a perfect movie (though I stand by my statement that Vader is a perfect villain), so I just want to clarify that I don't think "Inception" is perfect. It's just near-perfect.

Inception - Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, and Ellen Page - Rated PG-13

Yeah, it's a Vader. What of it?

is easily my most anticipated movie so far this year. It’s not because I loved the previews for it or I read some interviews or I heard the buzz about it. It’s because it’s directed by Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight), it has an amazing cast, and it is based on an original script. That last one is almost unheard of in summer blockbuster land these days. I think it’s great that Nolan was able to get a huge amount of money to make a movie that didn’t have a built in audience. But there’s another reason why I like Inception; it’s the best film of the year so far.

I mentioned that the previews are not what garnered my interest in this film. In fact, I tried my best to avoid all information on this film. If I know I want to see a movie, then I don’t want anything ruined by the previews, which tend to give far too much of a film away. I bring this up because I am going to give a brief plot synopsis and I’m going to refer to specific scenes in this review. I’m not going to spoil anything, but if you’re like me, you may want to hold off on reading this review until you’ve seen the film. (Hopefully most of you aren’t like me and you’ll keep reading, though.)

Inception deals with dreams. There is no long introduction talking about the technology that was discovered that allowed people to inhabit others’ dreams or anything, though. The audience is thrown right in the middle of it all and you have to pick up information as you go. The film may completely baffle you in the first twenty minutes. I don’t want to be cliché and call “Inception” mind-bending, but I will say that it is a film that requires you to pay close attention. This film deals with dreams within dreams within dreams within dreams.

Dreams within dreams within dreams may sound complicated or even cliché itself when you think of past uses of the concept. It’s cliché in a horror movie kind of way where a character wakes up three or four times to be scared. It’s complicated in that it could potentially become a complete mess where you have no idea which dream you’re watching at any given time.

Inception doesn’t fall prey to either of these. I never felt cheated by Nolan when an “awake” scene turned into a dream. Nolan uses filmmaking standards in very interesting ways to create the dreams. A character asks another, “Do you remember how we got here?” As the audience, you don’t ask yourself that because it’s expected. In movies, characters suddenly change locations, even though their conversation keeps going on as if it never stopped for them to travel. That’s exactly how dreams work. First you’re here, and then you’re someplace completely different. The fact that there is no concrete signal that a dream is being shown made the movie very compelling to me.

That’s not to say that this film doesn’t feature moments that are completely dream-like and visually astounding. This film has a brain, but it is also just fun to watch. The horizon going vertical, excellent uses of slow motion, maze-like staircases that look like they go on forever but don’t, and, the best, zero gravity. Don’t go in expecting constant craziness in the dreams, though. The crew in the film (I promise I will talk about them specifically soon) is in a subject’s mind, trying to either extract information or insert an idea. To do that, the subject can’t know they’re dreaming (at least not at first), because when they realize it’s a dream they’ll wake up. So the dream world in “Inception” is not a magical land with wonderful creatures; it’s more like reality, but a bit off at times.

The dream within a dream thing never becomes too complicated. If I described how the last forty-five minutes played out, it would probably make your head spin. Thankfully, Christopher Nolan is the one telling the story, and he puts it together in such a way that I never wondered where the film was or what was happening. That is quite the feat, since at one point there are five versions of some characters in play. If you stop and think about it, it might confuse you (as it did me just now when I counted out the versions), but Nolan doesn’t give time to stop. The movie moves at such a great pace that you just go with it and it all, miraculously, makes sense.

Now for the crew. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the leader of the group. He has to put together a team to put an idea into a businessman’s head. If he does this, he’ll be able to go home. (I’ll leave why he can’t go home for you to find out when you watch it.) The whole team concept basically makes this film a heist/con movie. Cobb’s second in command is Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Ariadne (Ellen Page) is brought in as a new architect for the dreams. Eames (Tom Hardy) is the forger (he can make himself look and sound like other people in the dreams). Yusuf (Dileep Rao) provides the sedatives that allow them to go into deep, deep sleep. And Saito (Ken Watanabe) is the benefactor along for the mission to make sure all goes well. The mark in this con is Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), who brings a trusted colleague (Tom Berenger) along in his subconscious. Also roaming the dreams is Mal (Marion Cotillard), Cobb’s wife. And Michael Caine is thrown in for good measure as Cobb’s father, though he has more of a cameo in a couple of “awake” scenes.

Okay, I know that was going overboard in just listing characters and actors, but I felt that everyone deserved mention because it is one of the best casts I’ve ever seen assembled. I’m not saying there are any Oscar-worthy performances here (and there really aren’t), I’m just saying that all of these actors are great and they do a great job. It’s just that this is a summer blockbuster and the cast is so large that no one stands out above the others. It basically turns into who you like the most. In my case, I’m a big fan of DiCaprio these days and he gives yet another strong performance. I’ve also enjoyed most of Gordon-Levitt’s work and he’s great here, too. I even enjoyed Ellen Page, who usually annoys me. But Tom Hardy (who was amazing in Bronson) is by far the coolest. His joking with Gordon-Levitt provided some needed comic relief and he’s very convincing in the action scenes. Also, it’s great to see Tom Berenger in a major release.

I called Tom Hardy cool and that can be applied to the entire film. Hardy may be the coolest, but all of these actors are as cool as they come. They get to wear suits and shoot guns, take down a snowy compound, traverse hallways as gravity changes, etc. It’s just plain cool. For the record, the gravity stuff was my favorite.

I may be glossing over the story and focusing on the action-type elements, but that’s only because I don’t want to ruin anything. There is a compelling storyline in this film and most of the movie isn’t action-packed. The lack of action in the earlier part of the film isn’t a problem, though, because all of the actors work so well together that even if a character seems a bit underdeveloped, you will hardly notice.

I haven’t read any other reviews yet, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be alone in singing this film’s praises. Maybe I am gushing over this movie, but this film is enjoyable and entertaining on every level. One thing I saw on a preview (it was impossible to ignore them this past week) was the quote comparing this film to The Matrix. I love this movie and everything, but please ignore people/critics when they call any movie the next anything. Do not go into this movie expecting a groundbreaking action movie like The Matrix. Yes there are people acting cool and shooting guns and whatnot, but Inception is a completely different movie. And while the film handles a dream world in completely competent ways, it doesn’t feature a new style that is going to change how action movies are shot, which is what happened with The Matrix.

Now I’m just rambling, so I’ll wrap this up (though I think I could go on for at least another thousand words). Inception is cool and I suggest that everyone watch it. There’s compelling drama, great acting and action, a bit of humor, and some absolutely amazing visuals. It’s completely entertaining and I think most people will walk out of the theatre pleased with this one. I certainly did.

Random notes - I wanted to point out a few things I noticed that aren't part of a review at all.
  • First off, Cillian Murphy must be wondering what Nolan has against his face. Murphy has been in three Nolan films and in all three he has a bag placed over his head. I just found that amusing.
  • The music was loud and awesome...that is all.
  • This film looks great in IMAX.
  • I loved that the movie didn't treat the viewer like a complete idiot when it comes to locations. I recently watched a film in which Big Ben is visible in the establishing shot, yet there is still a marker that says, "London." In Inception, a character says he is going to Mombasa. next we get an establishing shot of Mombasa, but there is no marker telling us this, because the film already did. And when they are in a more famous city, Nolan leaves it to us to realize where we are. I know it's nitpicky, but the overuse of location markers bothers me.
  • I like the idea of the "totems" as a way of knowing if you're dreaming or not.
  • The subject's subconscious was pretty funny. The idea that the subconscious (i.e. all the people in the background of the dream) would get suspicious and even violent was very interesting.
  • Finally, and this is definitely a SPOILER for both Inception and Shutter Island, what is with DiCaprio playing the same role two times in a row? In both films he has a dead wife and he has issues dealing with his involvement in her death. He even dreams of her, much like he dreams of her in this film, in Shutter Island. I just couldn't ignore how similar the characters were. Nothing against DiCaprio, though. I'm certainly glad he's in both of those films, which, oddly enough, I think I would place at number 1 and 2 for the year so far, Inception being number 1.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice"

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - Directed by Jon Turteltaub, written by Matt Lopez, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard, starring Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, and Alfred Molina - Rated PG

The Kurgan isn't pure evil; sometimes he likes PG-rated stuff like this.

I am a Nicolas Cage fan through and through. That is why when I came across The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, I didn’t think twice about whether or not I would check it out. The film, loosely based on the mop scene from Fantasia, didn’t really sound like something I would like. But then I saw the trailer, which featured decent effects and Cage with ridiculous hair…count me in.

I mentioned that the film is loosely based on the scene from Fantasia because the mop scene is really the only connection. I might add that you should at least check out the live action version of that classic scene; I thought it was great. This movie takes the idea of the bumbling apprentice from that scene and adds a slightly complicated story to it.

The story involves the most famous sorcerer of all, Merlin, and his three apprentices: Balthazar (Cage), Veronica (Monica Bellucci), and Horvath (Alfred Molina). Horvath turns evil and sides with Morgana (Alice Krige) to take down Merlin. Balthazar is able to capture Horvath and Morgana (though Morgana inhabits Veronica’s body) in a nesting doll contraption called the Grimhold. The only person who can truly stop Morgana is the Prime Merlinian, who Balthazar spends his life searching for. Oh, and at some point, the fate of the entire world comes into play.

Okay, now that might seem like a convoluted plot and at first, it was. It’s mainly due to all the weird names: Horvath, Merlinian, Grimhold, etc. It’s easy to get past the goofy names, though. The problem is having to set up all that stuff in the first fifteen minutes. That opening is the film’s weakest moment. There is some very plain narration (enlivened a bit by an uncredited Ian McShane) and too much happens too quickly.

The bloated opening is necessary, though. The film needed to get to the aforementioned Prime Merlinian as soon as possible. The Merlinian, a physics dork named Dave, is played by Jay Baruchel, who absolutely steals the show from Cage. I’m not Baruchel’s biggest fan; his quirks in all the awkward characters he plays have always gotten on my nerves. That changed with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I suppose it’s because he’s playing opposite of Cage. Baruchel’s perpetual befuddlement works perfectly with Cage’s strange confidence. I would’ve liked Cage to ham it up and get a bit crazier, but he still does some solid, entertaining work here. It’s just that Baruchel brings most of the laughs with his reactions.

I genuinely liked the two heroes. Most of that is due to their chemistry and the comedy, but a bit of it is due to excellent casting in the villain department. Alfred Molina simply has a menacing look and he is very enjoyable as the evil sorcerer. It’s strange, because his last role was as the comedic relief in another Disney movie, Prince of Persia, and I absolutely hated him in it. I just think Molina was born to play villains.

Back to the comedy, I have to stress that this is a family friendly movie that provides plenty of innocent laughter. I’m usually not one for “family friendly” PG rated movies, but this one impressed me. I must say, it brought out the kid in me. Don’t get me wrong, I doubt anyone will guffaw while watching this, but there are some funny bits here and there (my favorites being the references to Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark).

This isn’t just a comedy, though. It’s a film about magic and whatnot and it would be a failure if the action and effects didn’t impress. This film looks pretty great. I never felt that the effects were cheesy, even though many of them are not lifelike…if that makes sense. Mainly this is because I bought into the world created in this film. If you buy into the world, then the effects and the magic will work for you. I didn’t need explanations or long scenes of spell-studying. I was okay with Dave’s training consisting of Balthazar saying, “Focus,” while Dave messed up, often with humorous results.

Director Jon Turteltaub (the “National Treasure” movies) handles all of the action very well. Filming action segments seems to be a dying art, but Turteltaub is sticking with the old fashioned methods of actually showing action. It’s all very easy to follow and it’s doubtful that you’ll ever wonder what is going on. That might seem like light praise, but when you compare it to the insanely fast editing of other action films, you can understand why simple is often better.

The film also moves at a nice, brisk pace, even though there’s quite a bit going on since there’s a love interest for Dave thrown into the mix early on. I actually found the love story convincing and there are even a few touching moments (playing the OneRepublic song, “Secrets,” on Tesla Coils stood out). The love story gets a bit rushed in the end, but it’s forgivable.

Looking back over what I’ve written, it seems that I was very surprised by this film and I guess that’s true. I was expecting something a bit childish and mediocre and what I got was a very enjoyable, innocent film. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has a rocky start, but it hits on all cylinders after that and it ends up being a fun experience that kids and adults can enjoy.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Predators - Directed by Nimród Antal, written by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch, starring Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Topher Grace, and Laurence Fishburne - Rated R

It's not as good as the original (but then again, what is?), but it is the sequel Predator 2 should have been.

I am a huge fan of Predator. It is one of my favorite action films of all time and my friends and I quote it and praise its greatness to this day. Then Predator 2 came out and messed it all up with its mediocrity. I hoped that Predators could rectify that misstep. I am glad to say that it most certainly has.

Predators is a film about hunting, much like the original. The concept is taken a bit further this time around, though. The film features a lineup of killers from around the world who have been transported to a game preserve planet to be hunted by the titular Predators…or are the humans the Predators?

It surprised me a bit that the film would ask such a question of the audience. I was expecting a straight up crazy action film, but what I got was a relatively slow paced action movie about hunters and humanity. I’m completely cool with that, though. If I want a quick injection of pure testosterone, I’ll put in the DVD of Predator. There will always be the original, so it’s nice that this sequel tries to be a little more thought provoking.

No one really wants to think when they watch this movie, though. The audience wants a bunch of tough characters firing big weapons. Predators delivers on that level. It’s impossible to top the cast of the original, but this film’s hunters hold up well. When I first heard that Adrien Brody was the lead, I was skeptical, to say the least. As it turns out, I found him completely convincing as a hardened and deadly mercenary. He may be trying a bit too hard with the tough guy voice, but it’s forgivable.

Brody is backed up by Alice Braga, who serves as a kind of second in command. The rest of the crew basically just follows Braga and Brody. Topher Grace, though, is notable in the fact that it makes absolutely no sense why someone like him would share company with these killers. This is not a weak casting choice or anything, though, and the film makes good use of his peculiarity with some comic relief here and there. Walton Goggins as a convict and Laurence Fishburne as a rattled survivor provide a few amusing moments as well.

There may be a bit of comic relief, but this movie is quite serious for the most part as the focus is on Brody’s character’s stance on humanity. There are many scenes in which Brody thinks a wounded character should be left behind or that he should leave the others to fend for themselves. It’s not a wholly original concept, the soldier losing touch with humanity, but it is handled well and I found it interesting.

But more importantly, how is the action? Those looking for the classic Predator action will be pleased. The Predators make good use of their shoulder lasers and blades. And of course all of the supplanted killers get to fire off their weapons. The action is easy to follow and appropriately gory. On that note, the creature effects live up to the original, thankfully sticking with practical elements as much as possible. Of course, there has to be CG in such a film, and it is on the up and up for the most part.

The action, acting, atmosphere, and plot are all enjoyable here with no major problems, but all of the references to the original film are what I found most entertaining. First, the music is almost identical. There are also a few repeated lines of dialogue (“Over here” and “Kill me now!” being the most notable). So a lot of fan service is provided and I’m okay with that. The greatest fan service comes from the Yakuza character, who is basically like Billy from the original film. If you wanted a more climactic finish for Billy in the original, you get one from the Yakuza, who throws down with a Predator with a samurai sword. The scene is shot much like a scene from Seven Samurai and it was by far my favorite scene.

Predators is the sequel fans deserve. It doesn’t surpass the original (a nearly impossible feat, anyway), but it does provide fans with an enjoyable action film. Most importantly, it’s a return to form for the series, which was getting a bit too ridiculous with the Alien vs. Predator series (which I actually enjoy). This film is a return to the proper Predator world: a jungle, a group of trigger happy killers, a few laughs, and plenty of blood. Bring on Predator 3 as far as I’m concerned.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"The Last Airbender"

The Last Airbender - Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, starring Noah Ringer, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Cliff Curtis, and Shaun Toub - Rated PG

In Shyamalan's last crapfest, they were running from the wind, now they're bending it...and it still sucks.

M. Night Shyamalan has outdone himself yet again…but not in a good way. I actually enjoyed his films up until The Village, which had its moments but was ultimately a letdown. Then The Lady in the Water came out and I couldn’t gain interest in it whatsoever. He hit his low spot with The Happening, but even that movie is redeeming in that you can make fun of it to get some enjoyment. Now, he has unleashed The Last Airbender, a film not even worth making fun of.

I’ll keep the plot synopsis as short as possible for this one because it’s so simplistic and cheesy that it’s hardly worth writing. The Last Airbender takes place in a fantasy world that is divided up by the four elements: earth, water, air, and fire. Each one has its own nation. The fire nation is bad, I presume only because fire is usually associated with evil, and they want to rule everything. It’s up to Aang to stop them. Aang, a child, is the titular airbender who is also supposed to be the avatar (no relation to the blue folk), destined to bring peace to the world.

The Last Airbender is based on a Nickelodeon show, which means that children are the core audience for this fantasy film. Shyamalan must think all kids are idiots, though, because he messes up the most important rule of writing/filmmaking: Show, don’t tell. Well, not only does Shyamalan constantly have characters tell the audience exactly what they are thinking and doing, he shows it, too. There is actually a scene in this film in which the narrator states that Aang put on a display of his airbending skills, then, seconds later, we see Aang do just that. Was the heads up from the narrator necessary? Was this done as some kind of service for the visually impaired members of the audience? Because anyone with sight would understand what had just happened without being told…even a young child.

The narration also destroys any chance of character or relationship building. The characters are so bland I could barely recall their names after I walked out of the theatre. They are just shells that carry on their boring journey. I did not care what happened to any of the “good” characters. In fact, the only remotely compelling characters are the exiled fire prince and his uncle, played by Dev Patel and Shaun Toub, respectively. But even those characters are weakened by over-explanation.

As far as the relationship building I mentioned above, that might constitute as the weakest storytelling I have seen in years. The narrator says that the lame good guy character and a princess hit it off immediately and become inseparable. The only hint we are shown of that is that they look at each other and smile. In the next scene, they act as if they have been in a relationship for months. This movie didn’t need a bland love story added to it and this awkward attempt did much more harm than good for the film.

The characters may be weak and their dialogue is laughable (I literally laughed a few times at how simplistic it was), but the actors don’t help matters at all. A decent actor can make terrible dialogue seem slightly natural, but this cast only seemed to accentuate how bad it was. I didn’t find any of them, save perhaps Toub, to be convincing in any way at all.

With a movie like this, I would be willing to forgive some of the weaknesses if the action was amazing. Sadly, that is not the case for this film. I was expecting some cool action scenes involving all of the elements, but it was all very tame stuff. The only slightly enjoyable action scenes were showcased in the trailers for the film, so save yourself some time and check those out because the rest of the film simply does not deliver.

I also had the misfortune of wasting three extra dollars to see this crap in 3D. I am done giving these conversion movies a chance. If you do your research, you can find out if a film was filmed in 3D or converted to 3D. If it was filmed, by all means, check it out. If it’s converted, stay away and save your money. In the case of The last Airbender, however, you should avoid all versions of it. I certainly wish I had.