The Last Airbender

Day Nine of the Two-Week Torturefest

I wanted this “Airbender” to asphyxiate me.


Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Aang: Noah Ringer
Prince Zuko: Dev Patel
Katara: Nicola Peltz
Sokka: Jackson Rathbone
Uncle Iroh: Shaun Toub
Commander Zhao: Aasif Mandvi
Also Starring: Cliff Curtis, Damon Gupton, Francis Guinan, Katharine Houghton, Seychelle Gabriel, Summer Bishil

Distributed by Paramount Pictures on July 1, 2010. Produced in English by the United States. Runs 103 minutes. Rated PG by the MPAA–violence.

The Last Airbender was watched on Saturday, December 22, 2012.

“He was bending tiny stones at us from behind a tree. It really hurt!” –Morgan Spector as the Lead Fire Nation Soldier

The concept of The Last Airbender is entirely ridiculous. This is based on Avatar: The Last Airbender, a conventional anime that appeared on Nickelodeon in recent years…and passed on just as quickly. I enjoyed mild fandom of the series when it first aired; I was in third grade. But the more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems.

This is the tale of a boy named Aang. Oops! I meant a man named Aang. He’s a hundred-year-old Airbender, the last one alive after the rest of the population died out. Now I know no story that presents the medium intends to be realistic, but it’s more fun to play that game than to try and watch normal frame of mind.

I have a number of questions regarding just the main character and his story:

One—Aang is a century old, but he’s trapped in the body of a seven- or eight-year-old boy. Ironically, the intended understanding is reached from the unintended audience. This is a parable of sorts about the Hindu beliefs of karma and reincarnation, but pre-adolescent would understand that. They’ll think he’s simply a midget.

Two—if he’s so old, why is he so juvenile? Is the tattoo on his forehead really a curse enclosing a sophomoric personality?

Three—this character lives in an ancient Asian civilization, so why does he speak like a young, rude, insolent American child? Was that a curse from his tattoo? It probably isn’t, but I’m sure anyone and everyone involved would use that slight excuse to their defense.

Four—did he get that tattoo out in south Philly? No? What about New York?

The script was written by its own director, M. Night Shyamalan. I’m very impressed that Mr. Shyamalan is currently 42 years old. He may be the only man in our history to age 35 years within two cycles around the sun. Oh wait, he debuted back in 1999…I’d like to report an identity theft: a seven-year-old claiming to be M. Night Shyamalan.

The mindset of The Last Airbender is catastrophically juvenile and anachronistic. A prime example of such makes its grand appearance in the very beginning, when the leading young lady gives a narration to open up the film. It’s totally cornay, and she sounds like a valley garl, if ya know what I’m sayin’. Even worse, his debut was The Sixth Sense. The great debate reaches its zenith here, as we wonder how such talent could starve itself of ideas. It’s what I like to call “anorexia cinematicus.”

One final note: The four countries in The Last Airbender are called the Fire Nation, the Earth Nation, the Water Nation, and the Air Nation. These are, as you might guess, because they were discovered, settled on, and founded by the Fire Tribe, the Earth Tribe, the Water Tribe, and the Air Tribe.

Honestly. This is the very definition of lazy. The Indus River Valley tribe’s settlement is currently known as India, not the Indus River Valley Nation. The Anglo civilization’s settlement is currently known as England, not the Anglo Nation. The Sioux tribe’s settlement is currently known as Sioux Falls, not the Sioux Nation.

How funny that I should mention the Sioux while reviewing a film so comparable to Dances with Wolves: tedious, naturalistic, and vacillating between boring and unintentionally funny. Except sometimes, you’re brought to wonder whether or not Shyamalan is trying to be funny. I guess that’s what happens when a director picks the first names he sees during pre-production; sits around snoring during production; and only activates ever so mildly during post-production, just to verify that CGI is intact.


Jack and Jill – Sandler vs. Sandler vs. your patience

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