Usually, what we call “bad movies” are in actuality a mixed bag: The stuff that works is drowned out by everything that doesn’t. In The Last Airbender, which I made the unfortunate life choice of rewatching this week, almost nothing works.
Let’s see … The acting is terrible, the editing is worse, the pacing is amateurish, the special effects are inconsistent, the action is boring, and the poorly-written dialogue is hindered by poorly-written voice-over.
As I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters
, I adore
the TV series this movie is based on, Avatar: The Last Airbender
(the movie dropped the first word to avoid confusion with James Cameron
‘s sci-fi adaptation of Pocahontas
, which came out the previous year). Why Nickelodeon decided to hand the reins of this fun-for-all-ages fantasy series to M. Night Shyamalan
with seemingly no stipulations that the show’s creators be involved is beyond me.
This is a real study in contrasts with Chamber of Secrets (above) — even though I didn’t love that Harry Potter movie, its fundamentals are still strong. The Last Airbender is about as sturdy as an igloo built in the desert. Please, do me a favor and don’t watch the movie — do watch the TV series (on Netflix) instead.