Netflix Review: The Last Airbender

Normally I would be worried about how many things I am going to discuss in this review, because I would not want to ruin a movie for people.  But honestly, if all I did was write “The Last Airbender” over and over again interspersed with various and sundry swear words; it would be a better work of art than the giant turd that M. Night Shyamalan took on the world.

You see, I have been a fan of Shyamalan.  I loved Signs, The 6th Sense and I was one of the few who loved The Village.  But then I watched The Happening.  Walking out of that , I honestly never thought that I would ever have to sit through a more idiotic movie.  Seriously?!?  The Earth is killing only humans, and getting inside  a house protects you?  Or everything in the atmosphere that is killing everyone can dissipate instantly?  M. Night, you are retarded?  And I mean that in the cruelest way possible.

SHYAMALAN!!!

But I had hope.  Finally, he was going to shoot someone else’s material.  And the previews looked awesome.  I love kung fu and sweet special effects.  It looked like Shyamalan was finally going back to form.  Then I started reading reviews.  People who had not seen the series this is based off of thought it was unadulterated dog feces.  People who had seen the series wondered if Shyamalan hated them.  I kept reading review after review which said it was not worth it.  With Shyamalan, I wasn’t willing to take that chance.

But each review by people who had seen the series also said that the show was so good. They said that people of all ages would absolutely fall in love with it.  So I added it to my queue thinking I could at least give it a chance.  Both my wife and I fell in love with it.  Three seasons of this show were completely devoured by us.  There was one Sunday in there where I am pretty sure we watched the entire 3rd season in one day.  It is an amazing show, and I would recommend it to pretty much everyone.

So, I did the unthinkable.  I added The Last Airbender, the movie, to my queue.  And it finally came.  And my wife and I finally watched it.

NOOOOOOOOOOO!

I read interviews of Shyamalan talking about how he loved to sit down with his family and watch this series.  He talked of wanting to make these movies for his kids, because it was something that they had enjoyed doing together.  Fuck you Shyamalan.  Were you paying any attention while watching this series?  Do you hate your children?  What the hell is wrong with you?

First, EVERYONE in the movie calls him Ong (rhymes with dong).  In the entire series, everyone calls him Aang (rhymes with dang).  EVERYONE in the film calls him the Ahvatar (rhymes with of-atar).  In the series he is the Avatar.  And the TITLE is not the only thing that they mispronounce.  All you have to do is youtube any scene from the cartoon and you can hear how they pronounce words from this world.  But it wasn’t just one actor mispronouncing the words, it is very obvious that this is how the entire cast was told to mispronounce these words.

"No dumbass, it's pronounced Princess LEE-a and JOBO the Hitt!" - M. Night.

Second, Shyamalan decided to basically make scene for scene recreations of shots from the cartoon.  Think about that.  He couldn’t make a story arc that would encompass it.  Instead he took shots from various scenes throughout a 20 episode season.  That means that he tried to make a cohesive through line of 20 different stories in an hour and a half long movie.  How did he expect that to make sense to anyone who had not watched every episode of the series?

But then, this fucktard made it even worse.  He changed every character.  Imagine this: you are seeing shot for shot recreations of something that you have already seen.  But then every character does not match the character in the scenes you have already seen.  In the cartoon, Aang is just a little kid who wants to have fun and shirks the duties of the Avatar until he finds his motivation to take on those responsibilities.  Soka is a weakling who wants to be badass, but deep down knows he is not.  Katara is a hidden water-bender who feels compelled to help Aang.

Yeah, those all look the same...

In the movie, none of them have any personality at all.  M. Night has close up shot after close up shot of not one single actor emoting in this movie.  The only way that I can describe the “acting” in this movie is it is as if there were cue cards in front of the “actors” and they are just reading them while Shyamalan points the camera at their face.

But wait, there’s more!  Can you say miscasting?  Number one, there are tribes in this world.  There are the Earth, Water, Fire and Air tribes.  Each is it’s own ethnicity.  But in Shyamalan’s film, he casts five different nationalities, puts them in the same tribe and then puts them on the screen at the same time.  If that was not infuriating enough, he has fucking family members who are different ethnicities.  Prince Zuko is Indian and his uncle is fucking Egyptian!  Does that make sense to you?

And then Shyamalan changes other major things throughout his “story.”  In the series, we never see the Fire Lord until the very end of the series.  He is the big bad and is kept off screen or pictured all in black in order to make him scary.  Shyamalan shows him very first thing.  Then throughout the movie, he hides his face, then shows it, then hides it, and then shows it again.  What.  The.  Fuck.

He changes how Aang fights the Fire army in the end.  For no reason.  In the show, Aang becomes enraged at what the Fire army has done and joins with the spirit of water to become a gigantic sea creature.  Looking like a liquid Godzilla he goes out and destroys the Fire army’s boats, people and pretty much the entire army.  Shyamalan keeps what the Fire nation did, but what is his brilliant change?  He has Aang create a really big wall of water.  It doesn’t do anything.  But it is really big.  You actually then see all of the ships turn around and go away.  He did not destroy a single one.  It was just really scary.

Oh my god! A spider!

Speaking of battles, you would think that there would be at least beautiful element bending fight scenes.  Nope.  Apparently, Shyamalan thinks that slo-mo is really cool.  So cool, in fact, that every fight scene is entirely in slo-mo.  No speed up or real time fights ever.  I never thought I could yawn during a fight scene.  Turns out, I can.  And Shyamalan seems to have a crush on long shots.  He will swipe the camera around a fight, a ship, a landscape for so long you just get bored of looking at something that could be beautiful.

I swear, he could make this boring.

I hate this movie.  I hate M. Night Shyamalan.  After the movie was over, my wife said that that was an hour and a half of her life that she would never get back.  I told her that I was happy that I was going to have fun ranting about how horrible this movie was here on 47 Reviews.  Her reply: “Good, at least you got something out of it.”

What did you think of The Last Airbender?  Let us know in the comments below.

~Ryan Lynch