'The Last Airbender': Three things I liked about a mostly disappointing movie

Last Thursday, I wrote about my angst over seeing The Last Airbender, M. Night Shyamalan's live action adaptation of the acclaimed Nickelodeon animated series known formally as Avatar: The Last Airbender. My kids and I were big fans of the anime-style cartoon, and we had been eagerly anticipating the flick. But after reading the reviews, which were almost unanimously negative to the extreme, I found myself in a parenting pickle: Should I discourage my two children from seeing the film, or should I take them anyway and let them make up their minds for themselves. I decided on the latter course of action, and it was the right call. We went on Saturday evening. The verdicts? I left the theater disappointed; my son, age 9, was enthralled by the experience. He can't stopped talking about it, although his ongoing commentary includes a few quibbles, including the (narratively necessary) omission of some cherished characters. He can't wait for the sequel. (The movie is designed to be the first in a trilogy.) I haven't yet told him that the prospects for another installment could be iffy. (My daughter, 7, passed on the movie. She suddenly became convinced it would scare her. It wouldn't have.)

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