The Trouble With ‘Airbender’

Posted: July 6, 2010 in Jeff Holland, reviews, Threat Quality
Tags: , , , ,

No, I’m not going to go see it. And yes, I’m as disappointed as anyone that two of the movies I was kind of looking forward to – along with Jonah Hex – have received not just bad reviews, but the worst reviews I have ever seen.

I’m a little more bummed about The Last Airbender, though, because the reviews echo everything I was worried about – the acting is horrible, the dialogue is perfunctory, and – most damning to me – it’s just not much fun.

This was about the time that I started to wonder if maybe I was giving the Nickelodeon series too much credit. Was it really as fun, as joyous, as funny as I recalled? Maybe not.

So I watched the first two episodes on Netflix Instant Viewer again, and one thing in particular struck me:

In the first minute of the series alone, there are like five really funny moments.

And then Aang rides a penguin. The penguin does not particularly seem to care about this one way or the other, but Aang could NOT BE HAPPIER.

Moments of joy are what make the moments of danger mean something.

It’s a damn shame nobody seemed to remember this during filming.

  1. Katy says:

    I did go see Airbender (apparently because I thought I deserved to be tortured) and I would not recommend the experience to anyone who loves the animated series. Or anyone else. Everything the critics say is true and Shyamalan’s capacity to simultaneously bore and anger me seems to grow with each film. I harbored secret fantasies of Airbender being a kind of new Neverending Story and actually can’t remember experiencing a movie adaptation of a beloved media that I have been more actively upset about. Not even the terrible movie version of A Handmaid’s Tale pissed me off as much.

    Oh – and the most infuriating? They inexplicably mispronounce “Aang,” “Sokka,” and the word “Avatar.” Baffling.

  2. braak says:

    Wait, really? How were they saying “avatar”?

  3. Katy says:

    AHvatar. They also said Aang AHng. DUMB.

  4. Jeff Holland says:

    Yeah, I read a bit where Shyamalan said he wanted them pronounced that way because that’s how it would be pronounced in South Asian culture.

    Nevermind that the kid’s name is not pronounced that way. Goddamn Shyamalan.

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