The Last Airbender (2010)
M. Night Shyamalan first gained recognition as a filmmaker because his films (notably The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs) had edge and nerve, written and shot from a different perspective, with something unique to communicate. There is nothing unique about Shyamalan's latest outing, The Last Airbender, however. It is a self-absorbed and glossed fantasy adventure which boasts little else than all the mandatory ingredients for this rapidly self-destructing subgenre: a chosen Messiah figure, a simple good/bad dichotomy, furry mythical animals, and wild and grandiose scenery. There's nothing wrong about the story's outline or moral, it's just that the film appears completely inane and flat before our eyes. Shyamalan somehow drains all potential vivacity from his film, seemingly trying to make his film as generic as possible while still ceremoniously insisting on the story's importance and pathos, forgetting in the process that we've been told and seen all this many times before - and in better versions. The dialogue and the acting contribute to the same conclusion, perhaps with the exception of Shaun Toub, who exhibits something which in another movie could have been a touch of class. And the fighting scenes, which should have been filled with aggression and tension, instead look like tamely choreographed practice sessions from So You Think You Can Dance.