I Hate M. Night Shyamalan: 10/10
Don’t call it a comeback, because I really have let all of my loyal fans down by not being more consistent. Don’t worry, though, because Bad Movie Bob is back and ready to rock some faces with the awesome that is my blog. Some highlights for the near future include my triumphant return (this entry), a suggestion from the Mistress Of The Dark herself: Elvira, and a 5-in-1 complete Fast/Furious post with timeline. Ambitious for a lazy bastard like me? Maybe, but if you don’t test yourself and try to be better, you’ll end up like that most vial of “people”, Kirk Cameron. Seriously, f**k that guy. Anyway, on with my salute to Avatar and my middle finger to The Last Airbender.
For those of you who don’t know, this movie is based on the hit Nickelodeon pseudo-anime show “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, a pretty decent way to waste time if you ask me. The show focuses on a young airbender named Aang, who gets frozen in ice for a hundred years, and wakes to find the once peaceful world a much different place. Aang is the Avatar, the one person in the world who can manipulate (bend) all four elements: Air, Water, Earth and Fire (also Heart, but nobody gives a shit about Heart), and it’s his duty to maintain balance in the world between the four elemental nations. In his absence, though, the Fire Nation has started a war, and the world has been ripped apart because of it. The show follows Aang on his quest to master all four elements, leading up to his inevitable battle with the Fire Lord who wants nothing short of world domination.
The Last Airbender movie focuses on book one of the saga, “Water”, in which Aang is discovered frozen in the ocean. He quickly meets Sokka and Katara, his soon-to-be partners, and learns of what has happened since he took his unplanned vacation. Some quick (and obvious) character introductions and a couple muted fight scenes later, and Aang is on his way to the North Pole with his new friends to find a waterbending master. We also get to meet Prince Zuko (played by that Slumdog Millionaire kid), the banished son of the Fire Lord who can only return home when he has captured the Avatar, and all of the other pivotal characters that are only given enough screen time to warrant mentioning their names every time that they appear.
After a bunch of scenes where Shyamalan attempts to smash as many of the episodes from the cartoon as he can together, Aang finally reaches the North Pole and has an emotional breakdown. He can’t master water bending until he can accept the fact that all of his people are dead, and it’s pretty much his fault. He also has to save the moon spirit (a koi fish), stop an invading Fire Nation fleet, and figure out how to communicate with the “spirit world” via a random talking dragon. Well, to cut this short, he does all of these things (except that whole moon spirit situation, which resolves itself), and saves the North Pole from the invasion. He accepts his role as the Avatar, and then we learn that in 3 years a comet will arrive that will give the Fire Nation unnatural strength. It would seem Aang has a deadline of when needs to face the Fire Lord (but at least it’s more time than “by the end of the summer”).
This movie could have been saved if M. Night Shyamalan had pulled his head out of his ass and actually focused on a few key plot points, instead of trying to include as much as he possibly could from the source material. You can’t cram 7 hours of story in to an hour and a half and hope to come out with something that makes sense. Trying to please the fans because you’re a cocky asshole doesn’t cut it, and I think that is highlighted here. The casting is exactly what I would expect for a Nickelodeon made-for-TV-movie (with the exception of Zuko, who was pretty solid), and the special effects, which I didn’t think were too bad, were bad enough to net this film “Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse Of 3-D” at the 2011 Razzie Awards. To sum up, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is an awesome show, The Last Airbender movie was a train wreck, M. Night Shyamalan is a douchebag, and I’m still the coolest guy I know.
Until next time, boys and girls, keep watching those bad movies, so you can tell “Mr. I-See-Dead-People” how shitty he is.
P.S. You can go ahead and call it a comeback.