The Last Airbender

You would think that 12 teenage guys who grew up watching the show would be the target audience for this movie. We had a blend of hardcore, seen every episode, fans and people like me who had watched the little arrow head dude fly around on his “luck dragon” and liked it well enough to check out the movie, but The Last Airbender was so bad that by the end the theater was laughing incredulously at the attempts at drama.

After church last night I thought it would be fun to grab some youth and go watch a midnight show. Airbender seemed perfect. It looked like a fun summer movie with visual effects and nothing I would be embarrassed to see with guys from my church. I have to say that as a youth event it was a roaring success. I have never seen a group of students come together in the way they did over the horribleness of this movie. Since we were all in different cars we stood outside in the parking lot reliving some of the worst scenes for nearly 30 minutes.

So what is bad about this movie? Unless you go it is hard to explain. I can’t decide if the acting is weak or if the script is so weak that then can’t do anything with it. I never thought that “I have the high ground” would sound like good writing, but compared to this movie it does. After the first 10 minutes I turn to the guy beside me and ask if I was missing something because the movie just seemed to be wrong somehow, but I am rambling now so here are some bullet points.

  • There is a very pointless voice over narration that tells you things that you are seeing on the screen
  • The dialog sounds like it came from an 80s comic book with characters telling what they are going to do and why multiple times before they do it, even though we understand why you are going to hit that fire guy with water.
  • Then there are places where people just do things for no reason and we get no explanation. (Anyone who has seen the movie have any idea why chick hits the big ice ball in the opening)
  • The acting is rough to say the least
  • The dialog is even worse. There were multiple times when it felt like someone was asking a rhetorical question only to have another person give a detailed answer.
  • It tries to cover too much time and too many different stories. You just can’t get into the emotional story of 7 different character in a two hour movie. Just pick one and go with it.
  • Speaking of that, it doesn’t even end. This is just “book one” so it stops rather abruptly much like the second Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Let’s not even begin to talk about the ethnicity of the characters. The “Southern Water Kingdom” is filled with people who look like Inuits, but everyone who has a line is very white, just like all of the good guys. Of course the bad guys are of Indian or Middle Eastern decent so the racism just keeps on giving.

I could continue, but most of the rest wouldn’t make sense unless you watched the movie. At about the hour mark the theater I was in just gave up and started laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

I am trying to decide what to tell you about this movie. I almost suggest that you go just because of the experience of such a big budget flop. But if you do take a group of people with you and maybe a notebook to keep track of the great lines you will want to quote later.

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