One of the biggest worries coming into the live-action “Avatar: The Last Airbender” was how it would handle the bending. This was a hugely important element of the cartoon, and the last time someone tried to do it in live-action (not naming names, but you know who I’m referring to), the result was catastrophic. Thankfully, there are no 10-minute sequences just to lift a measly rock off the ground here. Though we mostly just see firebending in the teaser, it is already enough to make me quite excited for the action in the show.
Fire is notoriously hard to pull off convincingly in CGI form, but the teaser’s firebending looks stunning. We see Zuko pull off a firebending kick mid-air, and also we see a pivotal scene from the show play out.
It is the Agni Kai, the firebending duel that kickstarted Zuko’s journey. That scene played out in one of the best episodes of the original cartoon, one that was also a key turning point for the series and saw it transition from a fun and layered cartoon into a true epic.
That being said, it isn’t all good. Though the casting looks great in general, the makeup on Zuko, particularly his scar, is rather disappointing. He is a kid initially defined by that scar, which severely burnt most of his face and even his ear. Here, it just looks like a black eye that will heal in a couple of days.