Bend Your Way AWAY from “The Last Airbender”!
WARNING: This column is R rated. Those who are squeamish about vulgar language should NOT read this column. I am not one to use offensive words lightly when writing a column for all the world (including my mother) to see. However, when discussing the M. Night Shyamalan movie “The Last Airbender,” I must use profanity. You see, “The Last Airbender” is what many call “avant garde” which is a French term that means “experimental.” Why, you ask, is the movie experimental? Well, the film consists of a giant piece of shit on the movie screen for TWO HOURS.
Of course, I’m speaking figuratively. If the movie consisted of an enormous turd on screen, I would have chuckled, if only for a few seconds. Unfortunately, this movie involves images and dialogue that are IN NO WAY AMUSING. This movie is ENTIRELY SERIOUS. Never mind that the material is based on a lighthearted cartoon about a bald kid with an arrow tattoo on his head. Oh, did I mention that the billiard ball rides on a flying bison?
But enough about the flying quadruped and the boy who brings a whole new meaning to the term “arrowhead.” This movie is somber. Why? The world is at war. The Fire Nation—the bad guys—has taken over the rest of the world, comprised of the Air, Water and Earth nations. The Fire Nation took over the world when the most gifted of their warriors used “fire bending” to win battles. Apparently their “bending” skills were better than that of earth, air and water benders. Benders contort their body, twist their hips, and flail their arms around for a few moments—sort of like Tai Chi, except slower. These contortions help the bender to manipulate earth boulders, water orbs or leaping flames. Of course, it takes so long to bend—what with the flailing arms and legs—that the enemy could walk up to the benders and stab them in the neck before any element came close to them! But that’s not the point; the point is that this is solemn stuff!
To make matters even more serious, this arrowhead guy is the only human who can bring peace. But there’s a problem—nobody knows how to pronounce the kid’s name. See, in the cartoon, his name is “Ang,” rhymes with “bang.” But M. Night Shyamalan calls him “Ong,” rhymes with “wrong.” Maybe the actors are so worried about remaining serious that they lost their ability to pronounce words. One of Ahng’s buddies is also mispronounced throughout the film. Sokka, pronounced “SOCK-uh” in the cartoon, is now “SOH-Kuh” in the movie. Personally, I think the kid should’ve been called “SUCK-uh” because that pronunciation would best represent his acting abilities.
Then again, the kid didn’t have much material with which to work. The dialogue is so painfully cliché that Jack freakin’ Nicholson couldn’t make it work. Here’s a sample of Shyamalan-like dialogue from the film:
Ong: “That evil Fire Nation has taken over most of the world!”
Suck-uh: “What should we do?”
Ong: “We must destroy the Fire Nation.”
Voiceover: “YOU MUST TRAVEL TO THE NORTH POLE, SPEAK TO THE SPIRITS AND HELP THE NORTHERN WATER TRIBE.”
Voiceover: “IT IS MY JOB TO INTERJECT VITAL AND SERIOUS INFORMATION WHEN NEEDED SO THE AUDIENCE CAN FOLLOW THE PLOT.”
Jack Nicholson: “Goddamnit, enough with the somber voiceover. All I want is a garden-variety action film, hold the voiceover, hold the somber, hold the mispronunciations!”
Voiceover: “HOLD THEM WHERE?”
Jack Nicholson: “I want you to hold it between your knees!”
OK, I made that last part up, but you get the idea: This movie is globally bad from the acting to the script. But wait! There’s less! See, the film is in $3D so you have to pay THREE MORE DOLLARS to see it. Yes, three measly dollars to see what could be the worst special effects in the HISTORY of 3D.
But enough about fire or water bending. There’s a worse kind of bending that’s taking place: MIND BENDING. See, the movie has grossed over $100 million at the box office, which means that the advertisements are clearly brainwashing or “mind bending” viewers to go see this disaster of a movie. So please, do me a favor: if you’re ever with me and we see an ad for “The Last Airbender,” run over to me and stab me in the neck.
David Weinshilboum, who thinks “The Last Airbender” is in the running for worst movie EVER, can be reached at email@example.com. He wants to know what movie you consider the worst ever.