'The Last Airbender'
A flimsy, pan-Asian patchwork Nickelodeon cartoon series earns the full Shyamalan writing and directing treatment, and darned if he could make heads or tails out of it, or make a movie that made any sense at all.
The first sign of trouble was the original title --
It's about a bald tattooed boy, Aang (
The Fire Nation is using its menacing metal battleships to enslave the Water Tribes and Earth Kingdoms. The Air Nomads are all but extinct. But Aang, saved from an iceberg by the willful waterbender Katara (
But it turns out the twelve year old was frozen after running away during his training. He can only bend air.
His chief pursuer is "the banished Prince Zuko" (
Shyamalan's adaptation is overburdened with exposition -- back story, history, the names of spirits and creatures (Aang's pet flying caterpillar/bison). It's like a duller, dumber and Eastern influenced
Every time he meditates or is about to fight, the kid does a little Tae Kwan Do dance, a martial arts demonstration, Ringer's strength. But when he talks, he reminds you of the clumsy boy from the bad
There isn't a line worth quoting or a scene worth relating.OK, maybe one.
"Remember, your chi will warm you!"
The movie's casting of mostly Anglo actors to play the Asian airbending kids has stirred up controversy, but that's the least of this short, disastrous film's problems.
It's enough to make you yell at the screen, which is pointlessly 3D for this film.
OMG, M. N. Shyamalan, when are you going to show us something cool?
See for yourself
The Last Airbender
Cast: Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Cliff Curtis, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz,
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes