People really hate The Last Airbender

Senior Editor
06.30.10 28 Comments

It didn’t take much more than this clip of gay hadouken fighting to convince me not to see The Last Airbender, but in case you were wondering, the critics hated it too (Josh Tyler of CinemaBlend is currently listed as the only “positive” review).  Normally, I’d give a movie like this my “plot-recreated-through-expository-review-quotes” treatment, but this thing’s so heavy on goofy plot, that would probably take 3,000 words.  Instead I crammed the exposition and analysis together, so we could all bask in the delicious hate.  Enjoy.

“The Last Airbender” is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented.” – Roger Ebert

Not since Kyle MacLachlan’s whispered voice-overs about the worm and the spice and the worm IS the spice in “Dune” has a fantasy franchise tripped all over itself trying, simply, to please a fan base while creating a new one. -Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

It’s bad enough that this is one of those glossy CGI monstrosities, utterly divorced from anything resembling reality; transferred needlessly to 3-D, it’s just plain ugly.
The script is so incomprehensible, it’s often difficult to follow, despite several instances of characters stopping whatever they’re doing to explain what’s going on. –Christy Lemire, AP

M. Night Shyamalan’s retrofit produces the drabbest, darkest, dingiest movie of any sort I’ve seen in years. You know something is wrong when the screen is filled with flames that have the vibrancy of faded Polaroids. It’s a known fact that 3D causes a measurable decrease in perceived brightness, but “Airbender” looks like it was filmed with a dirty sheet over the lens. -Ebert again

Every time he meditates or is about to fight, the kid does a little Tae Kwan Do dance, a martial arts demonstration. –Orlando Sentinel

Also bizarre is the manner in which the warring parties fight. A fire bender, say, will toss a fireball at an earth bender, who will throw up a wall of dirt and block it. Meanwhile the fire bender will stand there and wait while the earth bender hits him with a rock or something. It’s using elements as rock-paper-scissors, but done by way of a sort of advanced form of martial arts. Why wait for your enemy? Why not just hit him in the head with a shovel while he’s standing there? –AZ Central

When he talks, he reminds you of the clumsy boy from the bad Star Wars movies. “Remember, your chi will warm you!” -Orlando Sentinel

As for the airbending talent that makes the kid so desirable: It’s kind of like having leaf-blowers shoot out of your hands. Useful for yard work, perhaps, but not a whole lot of fun. –Christy Lemire, AP

Another point is that Aang is raised in the Buddhist tradition, so he can harm no one. So for all the choreographed fights and CG action, this is the most bloodless PG movie one will ever see. If water crystals incapacitating warriors are your thing, than you’ll love these ice sculptures. –Hollywood Reporter

Let’s just be honest: M. Night Shyamalan is an idiot.  –Metromix

Mmmm, that’s some tasty hate.  M. Night took a lot of crap for casting white kids in the roles of characters who were Asian in the cartoons.  It sounds like he tried to compensate by making the film stock all dark and swarthy and ethnic.  Nice try, bro.

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