THE LAST AIRBENDER Declared A Disappointment As It Hits Rotten Tomatoes With A Dreaded Green Splat

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a beloved animated TV series with a devoted fanbase and, after M. Night Shyamalan’s underwhelming 2010 live-action adaptation, the pressure was on Netflix to get its version right. 

Longtime fans have found reasons to complain about this take on the property from the start and that’s only intensified in recent weeks as more details have been revealed (specifically relating to how the show will differ from its animated counterpart). Further increasing concerns was the fact the review embargo didn’t lift until the show’s premiere earlier today.

Well, the first wave of verdicts have dropped and they’re undeniably mixed, if not outright negative. Even the positive reviews aren’t exactly glowing and, for the most part, it seems fans of the original series will be left disappointed by this latest live-action spin on the Aang and company. 

That all-important Rotten Tomatoes score currently sits at a Rotten 58% based on 40 reviews and we’ll be keeping a close eye on that in the coming days. For now, you can check out a sampling of Avatar: The Last Airbender reviews below (via SFFGazette.com).

In the end, it’s hard to say who this version of Avatar is for, exactly. Fans of the original will be disappointed with the show’s charmless, uncanny-valley riff on the world they know and love. Newcomers may be put off in general. [C-] – AV Club

[Most] of these criticisms won’t matter to viewers coming into Avatar’s world for the first time. For those who are open to taking the remake at face value, there’s a lot of fun to be had, and that’s also true for longtime fans who approach the series with an open mind – even if some bits might feel off. [3/5] – Digital Spy

Ultimately, Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender is like a worse version of the in-universe “The Boy in the Iceberg’ play from the ‘Ember Island Players’ episode of the original show. [1.5/5] – Discussing Film

This adaptation is caught between impulses: it trusts its audience less than a children’s show did, while trying to be ‘The Last Airbender for grown-ups’. Some canny casting choices can’t rescue the show from uninspiring craft and tonal confusion. [2/5] – Empire

Given that the original Avatar has been hailed in many quarters (including this one) as one of the best series of the past few decades, living up to its memory was always going to be a nigh-impossible bar for any reboot or adaptation to clear. But the flaws plaguing this Avatar are entirely its own, separate from the unbearable weight of fan expectations. – The Hollywood Reporter

The live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series enriches the original story with meaningful new material, but its breakneck pacing, exposition-heavy dialogue, and hit-or-miss effects aren’t precisely in balance. [7/10] – IGN

Better than Cowboy Bebop, less enjoyable than One Piece, Avatar: The Last Airbender falls smack dab in the middle of Netflix’s own live-action adaptations, just as it does with its own predecessors. In a strange way, its own quality reflects one of Avatar’s core tenets: balance. Neither awful nor amazing, it is simply… fine. – Mashable

Forget the threat of Zuko or Aang’s own self-doubts plaguing every step of his journey: the Avatar’s greatest challenge yet turns out to be nothing less than the streaming model itself. [4/10] – Slash Film

The live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Netflix has its bright points like smart remixes of plots from the original animated series and a diverse cast and crew, but trying to please fans and newcomers alike makes for a middling, often baffling adaptation. [2.5/5] – Total Film

It didn’t have to be this way. Perhaps there wasn’t a more successful way to adapt this story, but maybe it need not have been adapted. The original “Avatar” wasn’t lacking; there was no need, other than Hollywood’s insatiable greed, to remake it. [1/4] – USA Today

More than anything else, the new Avatar’s pacing is what makes it feel out of sorts — not simply because of how fast the show moves but also because of how that speed creates a sense of urgency that doesn’t seem to emanate from many of the characters themselves. With a bit more room to breathe, the show’s subplots could have felt richer and its central heroes more compelling — and helped Netflix have another One Piece instead of a Cowboy Bebop. – The Verge

As a whole, Netflix’s ambitious ‘Avatar’ stands as a captivating passing of the torch — honoring fans of the acclaimed original while initiating a new generation into its intricate world. Here’s hoping the climatic finale is but the first chapter in an ongoing live-action saga. – The Wrap