((!!SPOILERS!! And I am not pausing to explain the story line to those who are not familiar with it, I’m just ranting like a crazy biatch.))
Oh my Flying Spaghetti Monster.
That was… eeeeeeh *twitch*
I would like to remove my eyeballs with a spoon and scrub out the memory of this movie (yes, my memories are in my eyeballs, like Blind Mag)
Lets start off with noting that ‘The Last Airbender’ was written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
This is not a good thing.
This movie should’ve been written by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, the creators of ‘Avatar : The Last Airbender’ (aka ‘Avatar : The Legend Of Aang’), which is the brilliant and critically acclaimed cartoon series that this Shyamalan ABOMINATION is based upon.
The first thing Shyamalan has changed, is the pronunciation of the characters names.
He claims they’re more historically accurate, but it should have been left as was, because it is a confusing ear sore to fans of the original series.
“Eye-roh” is now “Ear-oh”,
“Soh-kah” is now “Sue-kah”,
“Aay-ng” is now “Ahn-ng”,
and “Av-ah-tar” is now really demented like “Ahr-va-tar”
Another change is that only true master Fire Benders can conjure fire from their Chi, and others have to rely on sources like candles.
While this makes sense seeing as all other Benders must draw from natural resources outside themselves, like… dude!
And Zuko seems to be able to do it, why can’t Zhao? while Zhao is impatient, undisciplined and violent, he is also powerful, you’d think he could make his own fire.
Another change is, oh yeah, no one has any personality.
Sokka is not sarcastic and witty. Katara is not motherly with a feisty streak. Aang is not a carefree goofy kid. Zuko is not badass… at all.
And I still loved Iroh, but he was gentle and wise without the added awesome of being hokey and drunk-sounding and tea-loving… and fat.
He wasn’t fat. I could cry right now.
There was no character bonding.
Zuko and Iroh were okay, they held hands and crap. Aang said to Zuko “we could be friends ya know”.
Sokka tried to be protective, and he did kiss Yue, but… neh.
Maybe it was just because their acting was so bad (apart from Iroh, maybe Ozai, and very maybe Azula who you see for five seconds)
And, you saw The Fire Lord properly… you aren’t supposed to see the bad guy so early! They made the same mistake with turning the Deltora Quest books into an Anime! -.-
Not a single line from any of the series was uttered in the movie.
Nothing happened the same.
I understand translating a series to a movie is going to be different, but it was really disconcerting that is was all so unfamiliar and changed.
All the stupid wrong things that happened in the movie (I may have left some out in my ranty typings) :
Katara did not waterbend Aang out of the ice in a fit of rage at Sokka.
No evidence of Aang’s crush on Katara.
No fire bending ship.
Sokka did not fight with Zuko, who waltzed in announcing who he was and demanding all the old people.
Then Iroh did this gay test on Aang when he was captured, putting a piece of each element infront of him and seeing it change or move – that doesn’t make any sense, Aang can’t control the elements on purpose, let alone naturally without control unless in the Avatar state.
Aang didn’t make a typhoon of water in his escape, really unimpressive, no fighting, everyone did nothing.
Shyamalan zooms in so far when people talk you cant see their chins or foreheads.
Haru was like 8, the Earth Benders were kidnapped and held in a pen, on land, with plenty of Earth, so there was nothing keeping them there and no deterrent for fighting apart from stupid soldiers.
Aang made ‘inspiring’ speech, not Katara.
It took a troupe of dancers 5 MINUTES to move ONE ROCK. Not even a big rock.
All of the bending was SLOW and TAME instead of fast and powerful like the cartoon, and it took them 50 complex movements to do make a lil wave or a lil gust of air… so much effort, no effect, someone could’ve shot all the benders before they did anything! Why do they bother?
I was wondering if they ran out of money for special effects… one rock? really?
Air Temples all messed up, Monk Gyatso was black and not very old.
And Aang kept saying they told him “he couldn’t have a family” and thats why he ran away, but it wasn’t really that, it was that they were going to send him away from Gyatso, because they loved each other too much.
Blue Spirit wore stupid wig, and the entire escape scene was different and made NO SENSE.
Awful directing! Aang got inside some practicing dome to hold off the soldiers, and did a lot of movements that did nothing, barely hurt them, then all of a sudden with no explanation he was somewhere else completely, jumping across poles! Then he went back for Zuko, and blah blah boring fighting.
Barely any bending at all, just fancy dance moves.
Oh yeah, no Agni Kai between Zuko and Zhao ever, no showing that Zuko is actually powerful and awesome, and no Iroh saying “Even in exile, my nephew shows more honour than you. Thanks for the tea.”
Iroh never says anything saucy.
Zuko’s past is explained in great detail at odd moments by odd people talking to odder people (Zhao, mess hall, small children)
Zuko blew up, they mentioned they knew where the Moon and Ocean spirits were 10 times to make sure you were listening…
Dundundun, Zuko is alive, Iroh mentions maybe just forgetting the Avatar, and Zuko pauses for a really long time, as if he can’t remember his lines, then all of a sudden he goes “ICANTLEAVETHEAVATARIMUSTRESTOREMYHONORBLAH”, remembering in time that he was an angsty emo teen!
Did I mention Katara has been narrating everything? apparently “Sokka and the Princess were friends straight away” when they reached the Northern Water Tribe… cus them staring at each other wasn’t enough.
The Master Bending Master dude told them “water teaches you acceptance”… um, hello, in the cartoon that guy was a sexist pig that wouldn’t let Katara train, and told her to get in the kitch– I mean, in the healing hut, with the other little girls. Nothing about Katara’s Grangran being the Master’s woman.
Aang has zoned out all spirity a few times now, talking to big dragon, with no explanation of Avatar Roku and that being his animal guide thing, no mention of Sozin’s Comet (until at the end, by Ozai, who says it will arrive in 3 years, not the end of Summer)
And, I believe they referred to Kyoshi as a Earth Bender but I always interpreted her as an Air Bender because of the fans and style of combat…
So, the finale, Fire Nation attacks, Aang spirits out, Zuko kidnaps him, Zhao kills the Moon spirit, Yue gives its life back, sadness, Iroh being awesome, Aang snaps out of it while Zuko is whining about his family, they fight, Katara freezes him, Aang unfreezes him, they run…. and then everything slows down (if thats possible)
Aang pretty much stands around, doing nothing, for AGES while I was bored, tired, and I needed to pee!
Then, I suppose he gets pissed off, and very, very slowly makes a big wall of water, that pushes the fire nation ships back marginally, and this is apparently is amazing and scary, so they all retreat, and the all of the North Pole bows to him (including Fire Nation soldiers still in the village)….
LOLWUT? In the original cartoon series, Aang went all Avatar State, made himself a big huge body of water with limbs and scary glowyness, and washed out all the Fire Nation, and destroyed their ships.
It was epic, and it looked as good and weird as anything from animes like Bleach or Evangelion.
Oh, and when the Moon spirit fish was bagged in the cartoon, everything went into black and white, and Iroh’s angry fire made the only colour, and then when it was killed everything was red… it was beautiful and awesome.
Movie was not nearly so awesome.
Azula appears briefly, smiles scarily, it was cool. I’ll see the sequel for her. If there is one, due to the suckiness of this one.
IMDB star rating for The Last Airbender was like 3.2 out of 10 last time I checked, and Avatar : TLA has 9.2 out of 10.
Oh, and lets not forget the controversy over the ‘racebending’ – the way it seemed in the cartoon, and I think what Bryan and Mike said, was that
Water Tribe – Inuit/Aboriginal
Air Nomads – Tibetan?
Fire Nation – Japanese (although if I was going to put American actors as anyone, it would be them)
Earth Kingdom – Chinese (Ba Sing Se buildings, clothing, and creepiness hints so) or general Eurasia cus they’re very diverse
In the movie everyone seemed very white, like American, apart from the Fire Nation, which was entirely Indian.
It seemed very off-balanced.
And apparently the casting calls said “CAUCASIAN or other”, but the entire series was so inspired by Asian culture it really should’ve been “OTHER or caucasian”
Then they wanted all of the extras to be Asian, and they were like “audition wearing your traditional ancestral clothing”, because they wanted to be authentic… like, what?
Aang looks like Aang. Sokka and Katara faces look right, but they’re supposed to be dark-skinned and blue-eyed.
Zuko and Iroh don’t look right… Azula’s the only Fire one that looks like her counterpart.
It bothered me, because they weren’t even good actors (or maybe Shyamalans writing is so bad they cant do anything with it) so why should they be cast when they don’t even look like the characters?
But, anyway, nothing amazing, nothing beautiful, no great directing, no great acting, no great writing, nothing really memorable apart from how different and what a fail it was compared to the series (and on its own!)
The series is something that is moving, and gorgeous.
Bleh, I wanna rewatch the series now but I don’t have Book 3, so I shall wait.
EDIT :: I just recalled that when Aang and Katara were training, they were doing a lot of movements by the water, and Aang glances at Katara disappointed as if she’s doing it and he’s not… but there are no special effects! No waterbending is happening at all! oops, much.
Also, Aang picked it up faster than Katara in the cartoon, and Katara was disappointed and jealous, not Aang.