Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Last Airbender: Review

Warning: Reviewer is very very very mad.

10 years ago, I was watching the Academy Awards, praying that a movie called The Sixth Sense would win Best Picture and M. Night Shyamalan to win Best Director. Fast forward to today.... I want to kill that Indian man.
Ignoring all my fellow movie reviewers have told me about this filth, I ate my pills and went to see this film anyway on pure loyalty to the animated series of which this movie is based on. Throughout the entire film, I had to control myself from tearing up my seat and throwing it at the screen. I liken this movie experience to watching someone take something you have loved for so long and smashing it right in front of you.... and then ask you to pay for it.
The Last Airbender is based on Avatar: The Last Airbender, an animated series on Nickelodeon which was undoubtedly the best animated series in the last 20 years. It takes place in a world where there are 4 nations, Earth, Air, Fire and Water and within it are people, called benders, who are able to control their nation's element. But there is only one individual known as the Avatar who has the ability to control all elements and is tasked to maintain balance in this world. But when the Avatar vanishes, the Fire nation waged war on the world and spreads it's dominance.
100 years later, two Water tribe members, Sokka and Katara uncovered the new Avatar, a 12 year old Airbender named Aang and the three embark on a journey to find Aang a master to teach him water, earth and firebending to prepare him for the inevitable battle with the evil Firelord of the Fire nation. But they are pursued by Zuko, banished prince of the Fire nation who intends to capture the Avatar to regain is honor. And the reason why this film is called The Last Airbender is because Aang's entire race of airbenders has been wiped out by the Fire nation, leaving him to be the very last airbender.
That summary I gave you is a whole lot more than what you are going to be getting from the film. The movie takes the entire first season of Avatar, 22 fucking episodes and condenses it into 1 hour 30 minutes of incoherent, sloppy mess. Fuck you Shyamalan! You couldn't even write a fucking good movie even though all three seasons were already written for you. The script was all there! And you fucked it up!
Lets' talk about the characters shall we. Shyamalan took all the characters and for no apparent reason changed their name. Aang became Ung, Sokka became Soda and Uncle Iroh became Eroh. And while he was sucking out the name, Shymalan sucked out everything about the characters that I loved leaving empty shells of boring.
Uncle Iroh, my favorite character in the series was a wise, patient man who never took things seriously but was the great voice of knowledge throughout the cartoon series. Here.. he is a fucking retard with no sense of humor, had zero love for his nephew, and was more fire than wise. Somewhere in heaven, Mako is spitting down on you Shyamalan!
Aang. A boy thrust upon with great power and unbearable responsibility but is someone who just wants to be kid. Incredibly torn between his duty to the universe, the violence within him and his fun loving nature. In the movie, he's like a fucking owl. Normal time, he does nothing. Fight time, he rocks. Character development? Zip.
Sokka, the comic relief of the series. Funny as shit. Wacky as a retard. But he is smart, witty, a natural leader. He gets turned into a boring generic character, no humor, no lovable factor, monotonous as hell, serious as fuck, and he looks like a fucking Twilight character. Wait.. what? He is a Twilight character? FUCK!!
Katara, a young girl matured beyond her age. The mother of the group. The shoulder to cry on. The feisty, independent freedom fighter. A great feminist role model for little girls. In the film? Does nothing at all. Looks like she's been stung in the ass by bees. As Neytiri would say. "Like a baby. Making noise. Don't know what to do."
If these cartoon characters can have more depth and level than your $250 million dollar budget characters, then shame on you Shyamalan. What purpose did any of you actors bring to the story besides looking pretty and trying so hard to be Asians. Another thing, all the characters in the film are supposed to be Asian.. played by white as fuck actors.
I will say it again. The race of the actors do not bother me as long as they fit their characters. But now after watching this, I can safely say they do not match their characters in the slightest. Not only that, they turned these characters into no personality, white-washed zombies. Which now really begs the question, why did these people have to be white? I loved how the background people were all Asians but the only ones in the entire universe of the movie who had hero brains were the white kids. Fuck you. And fuck you.
The only person who got his character right was Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire. He did Zuko justice. He didn't look like Zuko nor share any important physical traits of his cartoon character, but at least the essence of the tortured, confused, angry boy in his coming of age moment is present in Patel's performance. So I'll leave him out in the rest of the bashing.
While the visual effects are fantastic, that does not redeem the films sucky script. If you don't know the story, the first 45 minutes of the film is a big "Whut??" They make no attempt to explain the mythology and magic of the world, that two guys did so well for a TV series made for 7 year olds. The film jumps between crucial episodes, ignoring incredibly important plot points, characters and themes. Kyoshi Warriors, not there. King Bumi, not there. Jet, not there. The Avatar State (one of the most important plot point that will take center stage in the next two films) is not fucking there!!
There is absolutely nothing to like in this film. This could possibly be the worst film this year. Yes. Even more terrible than Marmaduke and Sex and the City 2.
If you were a true fan of the original series, you'd be just as enraged as I am. fuck you Shyamalan. You took something that was so enchanting, so magical, so rooted deep within Asian mythology and culture, so hilarious and action packed and turned it into Hollywood garbage. It may be a long stretch but I hope you read this you piece of shit. Fuck you.

RATING: 0/10

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