The Last Airbender vs Predators
I've been catching up on summer movies this week. First I saw The Last Airbender. I'm a big fan of the Avatar TV show, and I was hoping M. Night would shake off his losing streak and knock this one out of the park but it was not to be. While it's faithful to the look and basic plot of the show, all of the fun has been sucked out of it. The actors (many of them miscast) are lifeless and the scenes are slow and dull. Bella was getting restless so we actually left halfway through, something I haven't done for a long time.
Somewhat better was Predators. It's as much remake as sequel, lifting the score dialogue and even whole scenes from the original. While it doesn't up the ante in the same way as Aliens, it's a solid action flick and definitely a step up from the AvP flicks. The ensemble cast (which includes a too brief appearance from a raving bonkers Laurence Fishburne) is suitably tough and there are even a few surprises towards the end. The only thing that lets the film down somewhat is the obvious cost-cutting. We get four predators instead of an army (the shot in the trailer of Adrien Brody covered with laser targets is not in the film) and the "alien" planet looks suspiciously like Hawaii. Still, it's a minor pleasure in a mostly disappointing summer.