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(A spree of colorful profanity follows. Sorry if you are offended, but no other words could really describe/emphasize the critical analysis necessary for this movie.)
I'm...I'm speechless. Is-is this really happening? Did we really get almost two years of build-up—build-up that made this film adaption of such a wonderful show a visionary, awesome epic—for...this?
Because, ladies and gentlemen, The Last Airbender is not a good movie. It's not even close. I can honestly say I've never walked out of a theater having seen a movie that I just plain didn't like—it took some hindsight for me to realize how crappy Transformers 2 was—before today. There's a lot of things wrong with Airbender—dear Jesus are there—but I'm not gonna list every single one of them. Just the gist of it.
Well, let's start with the most glaring problem: the script. Oh. My. God. This ass-munching, brain-raping dialogue that out-woods even a fucking tree is so, so, so freaking terrible it makes Attack of the Clones (yes, that Attack of the Clones) look like it was written by Shakespeare. Why? BECAUSE IT'S NOTHING BUT FUCKING EXPOSITION!! Everyone sounds like they're reading a script, and not like there, oh, what's that word? Oh yeah. ACTUALLY CHARACTERS IN A MOVIE! Seriously, M Night tries so fucking hard to cram everything you might need to know about people and events without actually freaking showing them it's tiring. Nothing flows. Everything is forced, and contrived, and convuluted, and-and and fucking explaining!! There's no character development, just explaining and explaining and—you guessed it—Goddamn explaining! I mean, seriously, here's a real fucking line from the movie:
Katara (to Aang): "They [the Fire Nation] knew the Avatar would be born as an Air Nomad, so they whiped out the Air Nomads."
That's just repeating the words "Air Nomads" in the same 2 seconds!! It's not flowing, it's drowning. This movie is in a river, drowning, and it can't get up. Seriously, get this shit some Life Alert. I mean, Jesus. Look, I'm not a professional movie writer—far from it—but, really, you don't have to explain everything with words. If you've got some important explanation ya need—in the case of this movie, that's for every second apparently—use a fucking flashback! Don't begin a longwinded, uninspired, wooden string of shitty-ass dialogue, just, ya know, show it. *sigh*
I could go all night on that. But I won't. Let's point out what else is wrong. Hm...Oh, right.
IT'S PRONOUNCED "AANG"! NOT "ONG"!!
Listen, Shymalan, I don't give a Dixie Cup filled with piss about if you think "Ong" sounds more Asian or whatever than "Aang," (btw, that won't help your movie be any less racist) the truth is that it's pronounced "Aang." Don't. Fucking. Change it. I cringed everytime they said his new name, and somebody in the theater even shouted at the screen "It's Aang you retards!" (wanted to hug 'em for having the balls to do what I wanted to), but it's not even as bad as "Soo-Ka" or "Ear-Ro". Dear God, were they even trying to make anything you hear in this movie partly enjoyable?
And then there's the acting. Seriously, Noah Ringer, can you do anything but jump around and scream? And don't even get me started on Katara's actress. She's like the secret love child of Keanu Reeves, Kristen Stewart, and a brick wall: she just stands around, shows no real emotion, and makes no effort in giving her a character personality. Dev Patel is a great actor, too, but the shitty screenplay he's given makes him just stand around, grunt, and spout exposition. But the acting isn't exactly the worst thing about the flick: in fact, it's a little (REALLY little) bit of a positive element (excuse the pun). Iroh's actor is actually clearly trying, and he comes off as the only character in the film with compassion and a likable personality (well, as much of a personality as 2 hours of exposition can make). Plus, Aasif Mandvi is surprisingly great as Zhao. He, too, is seriously trying and actually mostly succeeds. He puts through both a visual and vocal transition from scenes, showing hesitation and fear and all that shit, pretty nicely. In fact, the scenes focusing on Zuko & Pals are the closest thing this movie gets to entertaining. I was so sad when scenes went back to Aang & Turds.
Well, I'll have to say this movie deserves some credit. It's a monstrosity of a movie with its terrible dialogue and almost unanimously shitty-ass performances, but this movie is actually pretty good to look at. The visual effects are consistently great, and for most of the time the cinematography is pretty beautiful. Plus, the production design is grand and also a pretty site to behold. And it was kind of a relief to see Sokka actually being used for comic relief, and in fact, one of his jokes is the best part of the entire flick (he's under Appa's foot and he shouts "It's eating me!"—surprisingly hilarious). But it's just not enough.
This is a terrible movie, and a disgusting regurgitation at a smart, visually stunning animated serial known as Avatar: The Last Airbender. The dialogue is so terrible it's not even funny, the whole movie is depressingly joyless and unfittingly grim and un-whimsical, and the nice visuals aren't enough to make this movie anything but a Godawful waste of time, money, and talent. But, since the box-office results are pretty solid thus far, in the possible sequels, maybe they'll get better.
If M Night learns to stop fucking writing and stick to making things look pretty. For the love of God: Please.
Rating: Half a star out of 5.