I really, really wanted to like this movie. I loved the Nickelodeon cartoon that it is based on. And I really wanted M. Night Shyamalan (whose movies, after his explosive debut with The Sixth Sense and Signs, have been steadily declining until acheiving an all time low with Lady in the Water) to finally have a good movie. . . . but . . . . I was sorely disappointed. It had such potential. Unfortunately, it fell very flat. Though the movie did capture much of the feel of the cartoons in how it looked, it lacked so much. It lacked the depth of character. It lacked the humor that endeared the characters to your heart. It lacked storytelling. It seemed that Shyamalan (screenwriter and director) tried to move swiftly from episode climax to episode climax from the first season of the cartoon with so little development or background that it felt choppy. The dialog was written and delivered very dryly. Shyamalan does have great talent for framing a shot and creating suspense, he needs to stay away from writing. Get a crack screenwriter to produce a killer script and let Shyamalan work with the camera.
The four nations of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire lived in harmony until the Fire Nation declared war. A century later, there is still no end to the destruction in sight. then, an Avatar named Aang discovers that he has the power to control all four elements. he joins forces with Katara, a Waterbender, and her brother Sokka to restore balance to their war-torn world.
Now to what I liked. The special effects were very cool, the water bending, fire, bending, earth bending, and air bending. I am still bummed that I didn't like it. It wasn't that I was so keen on the cartoon that nothing would have satisfied me. I can control for that within myself. It just wasn't a very good movie. I think that kids will enjoy it more because they will be less critical. Maybe wait for the dollar theater to take the kids to it. It is rated PG for stylized martial arts fighting and some peril.