Avatar: The Last Airbender Live-Action Review | Avatar the Remix

The Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series is now streaming on Netflix.

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Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series is finally here, but the question on many fans’ minds is if it’s worth watching. After all, the previous live-action Avatar film was panned by pretty much everyone.

With Netflix handling this new live-action project, there’s some optimism about this show. After all, Netflix has been quite successful recently with its live-action One Piece and Yu Yu Hakusho shows. Not to mention that the trailers looked quite promising.

So, is the Avatar live-action series a successful adaptation of the beloved animated series? Well, you should be ready for major changes when watching it, though it should still be an interesting watch for fans of the original.

[NOTE: This review has minor spoilers, though no major plot points from the live-action series are revealed]

Yes, There are Major Changes Here

Without going to deep into spoiler territory, the live-action Avatar series has some big changes from the original, though many of the plot points in the live-action version should be familiar to long-time series fans.

What the live-action show does is basically remix and combine the episodes of the cartoon. This means you’ll see storylines be combined with each other, which makes sense given that Netflix’s series is only eight episodes long.

Even though each episode is around an hour long, these changes made sense to condense what happens, especially given these eight episodes tell the story of Book 1 of the original show.

While this works, the story moves quite fast, too fast at time if you ask me. Again, I understand why this had to be done, though I wished that there was more breathing room to enjoy Aang, Katara, and Sokka’s adventures. Plus, the fact that their adventure happens fast means some developments don’t feel as natural, especially the ones involving Sokka.

Another consequence of the faster pace and remixed story is that this is a more serious take on the story. Sure, there are still funny and lighthearted moments, but this show definitely leans darker. Personally, I’m fine with this change, though I can see some fans of the original not being as happy with it. After all, the humor of the original was a big part of its appeal.

Still, the story is fairly entertaining overall, and while there are big changes, most of what happens should be familiar to fans. What also makes these changes feel fine is how faithful the renditions of the characters are.

The Characters You Know and Love Are (Mostly) Faithful to the Original

When it comes to the characters, Avatar: The Last Airbender does the original justice as the cast bring their characters to life incredibly well. Particularly, Zuko and Uncle Iroh are the stand-outs as the actors were able to express their characters well, all while bringing some extra dimension to them.

Aang, Katara, and Sokka are also great in this series as the characters still feel familiar even though the show and their portrayal are a bit more serious, not to mention that there are some changes to them as well (like Aang being a tad more serious).

Compared to the first live-action film, this series is leaps and bounds better when it comes to characters. What’s more, it also features an appearance from Azula which is interesting given that she didn’t really appear in the cartoon’s first season. On top of this, the side characters like Suki and more were also great to see on screen.

There are some characters that get the short end of the stick. In particular, the bounty hunter June plays a smaller role here. Again, this is likely a consequence of the condensed story which was made to fit Book 1 into eight episodes.

On the flip side, what the live-action series does bring is a ton of great action with eye-popping special effects.

Impressive Special Effects Combined With Lots of Action

The action scenes in the cartoon are memorable, but the live-action series definitely goes above and beyond in this regard. Avatar is filled with action-packed sequences that show off lots of elemental bending and martial arts which are definitely a visual treat.

It’s clear that the show’s creators and cast put a lot of effort into the action scenes. To complement these, the series’ visual effects are also excellent, not to mention that the sets also perfectly bring the world of Avatar to life. And yes, even the costumes and makeup look great, meaning this show doesn’t suffer from the issue that other live-action adaptations have where characters look a bit goofy in their costumes.

In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that the effects and visuals are the biggest strengths of the series. So, if you’re looking for an entertaining show with a lot of action, Netflix’s Avatar live-action series should be on your watch list.

Final Verdict

So, is Avatar: The Last Airbender worth watching? Well, if you’re new to the series, it should be worth a look as its effects and action are sure to entertain. Plus, while the story is changed up, it still carries enough of what made the original such a beloved show.

As for fans of the original Nickelodeon series, if they come into the show with an open mind and not expect a 1:1 recreation, the live-action series should still be worth watching. After all, this series, despite the changes, does work as a remix of the original with eye-catching action scenes.

The Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series is now streaming worldwide, exclusively on Netflix.