Expected mediocre movie, got a mediocre movie. Can't say I am disappointed when it was exactly how I expected it.
Honestly, I feel that its biggest problem is that it has a really really bad pacing, it's too [tornado fang]ing rushed at the beginning. Because of that I feel that you don't even get to know the characters well, I have no idea how someone that hasn't watched the show could've cared about any of the characters except maybe Aang. I don't really like how they replaced Aang's previous reincarnation as a mentor with a dragon either unless I just don't remember it from the show.
Also, bending looked quite silly at times. Oh, and couldn't fire benders create their own fireballs in the show? I could swear I saw them do that in like every episode.
Allow me to show you a scene from the movie, and compare it to the show.
1 - Earthbenders, in the show, are trapped in a mining ship completely made out of metal, so they can't bend. It's through the group's plan to get all the coal of the ship into the prison yard that they succeed.
- Earthbenders, in the movie, are trapped in a mountain. WITH ROCKS ALL AROUND THEM. EARTH ALL AROUND THEM. AND THEY NEVER TRIED TO ESCAPE UNTIL... ONG POINTED THIS OUT TO THEM.
2 - Firebenders, in the show, can shoot fire without requiring it nearby. It's why they won the war. They're just naturally more powerful.
- In the movie, they need a fire source. Think that's stupid? How about THE FACT THAT NOBODY EVER THINKS TO PUT OUT THE DAMN FIRE SOURCE. ...Ong could throw a little gust on it and put it out. Or any Earthbender could just throw some dust on the flames. No more fire.
3 - Talking dragons in live action movies haven't been fun since Sean Connery in Dragonheart.