Do Not Watch: The Last Airbender

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist– The Usual Suspects

The greatest trick M. Night Shyamalan ever pulled was convincing us he was a great filmmaker. The Sixth Sense had to be written and directed by someone else.

I have proof! It’s The Last Airbender.

Hami Kami HA

This is the first time that watching a bad movie has caused me physical pain — it felt like someone was standing on my skull with baseball cleats. Wait, strike that. It’s not even close to the pain that this movie will inflict on you.

I have tried to find one single redeeming point in The Last Airbender. And I tried really hard! But I can’t even say that the promotional poster used pretty colors.

Some could say that the visual effects in The Last Airbender were well done. People can also say that the Earth is flat, but that doesn’t make it true.

The acting is not good. So “not good,” in fact, that Plan 9 from Outer Space looks like Citizen Kane by comparison.  The bad acting is made worse by the painfully awful camera work.

In one scene, the camera was horrifically close to Aang as he woodenly delivered his lines. If it got any closer, you would have been able to see his skeletal structure.

I will say that the “supporting cast” makes Aang look like a superstar by comparison. They mostly seemed to be on the verge of tears as they delivered their lines, but this may have been because they knew that every poorly written word they repeated just drove another nail into the coffins of their acting careers.

But wait! There’s more!

Avatar: The Last Airbender is not to be confused with M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. The cartoon that originally aired on Nickelodeon was very well made. It ran for 61 episodes, and each ran an average of 23 minutes without commercial breaks.

It  took 23 hours for Aang to become the Avatar in the animated series, and in The Last Airbender they do it in just over a hundred minutes. As you can guess, things move at breakneck speed.

Mr. Shyamalan condenses the rich story into such a short span by having everyone talk fast, really fast, when they need to cram in the backstory that just shoves this derailed train of a movie further off the tracks. If I hadn’t spent time enjoying the source material, I would have been lost. Lost like the first guy on Mars… right after he broke his GPS.

If the cartoon was good…

I truly am baffled by the decision to do a live-action version of Avatar. Maybe Hollywood’s need to stay relevant in this ever-growing world of on-demand entertainment drives them to find things that are popular — and then pervert and drain them. This movie does nothing more than leave a strange rotting carcass* on the studio lot.

And they left it wide open for a sequel! I’m hoping that the earth will fly off its axis and crash into the sun before something that horrible comes to pass.

I knew that The Last Airbender was going to be bad going in. But how bad? Well, I weep for all those who had to sit through it in the theaters.

But I weep harder for the parents of the kid who thinks this movie is great and watches it on repeat. Hopefully, they avoid the trauma of by staying drunk until he turns eighteen, and then they can kick him out of the house.

Please Do Not Watch!



*reasons not to watch coming soon!

About Donald Conrad

Donald Conrad is an avid father and a dedicated gamer -- or maybe that's the other way around. He loves his games, and he loves his family, and he's pretty sure he loves sleep, even if he doesn't remember what it was like. Follow his life confusion on Twitter @ConManEd