The live action movie written and directed by M Night Shyamalan I mean.
You should absolutely watch the Nickelodeon show, its a work of art.
The movie though! Oh boy. It’s a ride and a half.
Unfortunately that ride is a ‘It’s a Small World’.
Which is to say: Culturally questionable and disastrously boring.
There’s nothing I can say about The Last Airbender (the movie isn’t called Avatar btw. Just The Last Airbender) which hasn’t already been said. It’s a 10 year old movie and everyone knows it’s bad. But I’m going to say them anyway! Because this movie wasted 2 hours of my time, so now I have to waste 2 minutes of yours.
The literal first thing I noticed with this movie is how out of place the main characters are. If you don’t know, the nations in Avatar are based on real world cultures. Though not solely based on one. They take influences from lots of different things. The fire nation is a hybrid of china, mesoamerica, and South East Asia, while also being comparable to Imperial Japan. The earth nation is almost all Chinese but also vaguely pacific and Vietnamese. The Air Nation is based on Tibetan monks, and lastly the Water nation is very Inuit, but also features other native american symbols and uses Chinese architecture for some reason.
Point is, in the show the characters look like they’re supposed to.
And in this movie… they definitely don’t. See the issue here?
The next thing I noticed was how weird the audio is? Almost every single line of dialogue in this movie is ADR (automated digital replacement). Which means they shot the footage and then dubbed it over with better quality audio later. Which is normal for movies! Little known fact about film making: About 70% of dialogue you hear in major movies is dubbed in later. Seriously. So why are we complaining about it now? Because in this movie it’s really really badly done. You might never have noticed it in 99% of movies you’ve seen before, but it was immediately obvious in this one.
Just watch the first 15 seconds of this clip. You can actively hear the difference in audio quality dip between “I have to get back” and “I’ll stay with him”. Also just watch the rest of the clip if you want to know everything you need to know about the rest of the movie. It’s buckwild how stupid everyone in the scene is. (Why does the perfectly green grass just catch on fire from a torch???)
The last thing I noticed about The Last Airbender is how it doesn’t actually end? It acts like it’s going to get two more movies where they wrap up the rest of the plot, which is a really dumb move if you’re not a Disney studio who can guarantee there will be two more movies.
Just don’t watch it y’all.