By / 19th July, 2010 / Movie T-Shirts, T-Shirts / No Comments

My review for the Last Airbender

Yesterday I reviewed a great movie, Inception.  I guess today I have to do the other side, The Last Airbender.  It would be fair to say watching this movie was a painful experience, in the same way getting kicked in the balls by a mule while someone pours gasoline all over your body and sets you on fire is a painful experience.

The part that sucks for me is I am actually a fan of Avatar, the Last Airbender (I guess James Cameron had an issue with them calling this movie Avatar.  Good call, James).  I loved that show and watched it back to back.

I don’t know who thought M. Knight Shamalan would be able to do a credible job with this, except for the idea that as a person descended from an Eastern culture would have an interesting approach to the martial arts aspect of the movie.  However, last time I check he is Indian, which, while definitely an Eastern culture, is not well known for it’s martial arts.  Also, M. Knight has done exactly 1.5 good movies (the 1 was Unbreakable, not the Sixth Sense), so why do they expect him to do anything worthwhile in this one?

Anyway, I waded through this cinematography sewer.  They basically took 22 episodes of Avatar and compressed them into one horrible script.  Instead of concentrated goodness, all the bad was squeezed out and covered the entire surface with an oily, brackish, smelly veneer.  Then the director proved that he is incapable of casting anyone remotely good.  Honestly, if you are going to look for new actors for a movie, there is such a huge pool of wannabe actors in LA (I used to live with a few of them.  We always called them Wactors, as in waiter-actors (or Wactresses)) that there has to be someone remotely talented who would be desperate to prove themselves in something like this.  Instead it looks like he just hired the first 8 morons who wandered in off the street and the kid from Slumdog Millionaire and knocked off for an early lunch.  Truly horrible.

Also, in an impressive display of cultural sensitivity he cast the entire Southern Water Tribe as strait up Inuit and the two main characters as white as humanly possible.  Seriously, they looked looked like whiter versions of PeeWee Herman.

The one thing that unified all the actors together was their inability to deliver a line without sounding like they were reading stereo instructions aloud.  The kid from Slumdog Millionaire was the only one who did anything that sounded remotely human, but even his talent was obscured by Shamalan’s inability to direct.

The only person I felt had a worse experience watching this than I was the poor girl I dragged along.  As a fan of the show at least I had an idea what was going on.  She must have been in the movie equivalent of the 7th level of Hell.  I owe her a nice dinner I think.

I will say the CGI special effects for the water and fire bending was pretty good, but the martial arts choreography was amateurish at best.  It’s fairly obvious that they didn’t hire Bruce Lee (or, for that matter, anyone who really knows anything about martial arts) to set up the martial arts (shirt from the movie t shirt category).

Finally, the kid who plays Ang is really annoying.  I’ve never wanted to beat a kid who looks like he has been undergoing chemotherapy before, but he managed to push me to that level.  Also, in the cartoon I thought the arrow tattoos were part of being the Avatar, but somehow in the movie the were Airbender tattoos.  Kind of cool looking though.

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