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July 6, 2010

The Last Airbender: 21 Reasons why This Movie Sucks

Despite my best hopes, "The Last Airbender" didn't do that badly its opening weekend. It made $70.5 million from Thursday through Monday, nearly half of what it cost Paramount Pictures to make.

But there is a bright side. The film, which is based on Nickelodeon's animated television series "Avatar: The Last Airbender," may already be waning in popularity. Ticket sales declined through the weekend. And critics universally panned the film, including Roger Ebert, who comments on the film's casting controversy:

[M. Night Shyamalan's] first inexplicable mistake was to change the races of the leading characters; on television Aang was clearly Asian, and so were Katara and Sokka, with perhaps Mongolian and Inuit genes. Here they're all whites. This casting makes no sense because (1) It's a distraction for fans of the hugely popular TV series, and (2) all three actors are pretty bad.

The studio insists the film has a "multicultural" cast, since it did hire a lot of minority actors for the other roles. But Dev Patel ("Slumdog Millionaire"), the one actor of color who has a leading role plays the villain, and (since I refuse to see the film) I hear the other minority actors primarily play bad guys as well. So once again, the white people are saving the world from everyone else.   

It's always a bit disturbing when minority groups lose their characters and roles because Hollywood doesn't see them as marketable enough. I (sort of) understand why Disney cast Jake Gyllenhal as the "Prince of Persia." He's a star. But I can't comprehend why the studio actively sought unknown Caucasian actors, who as Ebert attests are "pretty bad," to play Aang and his friends. Really? They couldn't find an Asian kid to do the same job?   

Enough from me - I'll let you hear the story from writer/performer Prince Gomolvilas, who tells it better and is much funnier than I. He recently included "The Last Airbender" in an updated version of his piece "21 Reasons Why This Movie Sucks" at a recent literary event organized by PEN Center USA and USC, where Gomolvilas also teaches. The monologue is originally from the playwright's 2006 show "Jukebox Stories."

July 6, 2010 9:19 AM | | Comments (33)

33 Comments

This review lacks understanding, culture and eloquence. If you have a real understanding of the film, you would at first realise that the director is Indian (by the way his movie Sixth Sense is Brilliant).

Next a Villain is a much sought after role, I suppose you are the character that screams wolf. What would indeed appease your deep seeded angst that you live in a predominately white country.

Hollywood isn't racist, you are. The movie has a white cast because their best foreign box offices will be in Europe, middle America. Money drives Hollywood.

Good day.

There is no way of describing how bad this movie is. The best way I can try of giving a description is: 'They twisted every single fact of a wonderful series to make complete and utter fucking crap of it which isn't even worth being watched by the lowest life form.'
Whoever made this movie had to give up on their pathetic carrier. Don't they see they have absolutely no talent at all?!!
I mean, really. They completely butchered a wonderful series.
I don't often say that a movie sucked or that I was disappointed with it because usually there were atleast some parts of it which were good, but I can honestly say that this is the worst movie I've ever watched.

I don't often criticize a movie either, so just the fact that I'm doing it now means a hell of a lot.

What a joke! The movie was great! Cast was perfect. I do not know anyone who thought different and please answer this- why do all Asian cartoons make their characters look white?! They clearly do not look Asian. Big eyes thin noses etc. Asians are so racist. It's clear that they are the only ones making it a race thing and anyone who follows is just for the reason of wanting to shut them up. But there's no satisfying people like that they will always find something to complain about. Who cares what they think. It's a movie people. The director was great. I wish the movie was longer. That main kid fit the part so perfect. When all of them come out they will be famous forever! Just watch! Its one thing to comment on the skill of the actor but wow to bloggg and protest about the race NEEDING to stay Asian wen for one the asian cartoonists don't even want them looking Asian haha and two as if it is some sacred thing, I understand it might be the only decent thing the Asian culture has haha but seriously WTF. I'm really laughing here. You asians cut your eyelids just to look more American I could go on and on but the point is it's you people that are jealous and racist amd NO ONE should try to please someone like that. Now go find something else to complain about. Why aren't blacks in your china films lol why aren't whites in those dumb all black films lol who cares, change the channel if you don't like it. Asians suck at everything and they are not very easy on te eyes if you know what I mean.

yea the comment above from zero rocks

"Asians suck at everything and they are not very easy on te eyes if you know what I mean."

lol how ignorant. yeah sure asian suck thats why china owns america and asians are taking away all of your high paying american jobs. its not our fault our morals are much superior to your white trashness. if you honestly like this movie, you must really have bad taste. lets not even talk about your taste in men. hope you enjoy flipping burgers for a living. retard.

That movie sucked. If I knew it was going to be that bad I would have never have watched it. They didn't get any thing right - the acting sucked and the tribal atmosphere has been ruined by boring WHITE people. Ha, the movie is a damn joke. Kitara and Sokka are not WHITE. Neither are all the other people in the series. No, I am not racist but the tribe told a lot of the story AND THEY F***** UP BIG TIME. I would not see that movie again if someone paid me.
And this is to the person that said anime characters look white. No they don't. GET SOME CREATIVITY. You know the world would be boring if all people were the same. White people need to stop taking credit all the time.

Danielle: Not all Asians have slanted eyes. And I am so sure that there are much more beautiful Asian women than you. And that movie was ridiculously horrible. It was such an awful movie! But, I guess dumb people like movies like this anyway right?

I've seen the entire avatar show and it was amazing. When i saw that there was a movie, i got excited. I was like hey! Maybe it will be freaking awesome! But then i started reading online after it had been out for a while and sooo many people said it sucked! I was like really? How could something made from THAT cartoon be so terrible? so i decided to see the movie. My mistake. I was just sitting through the whole thing shouting at the tv the REAL NAMES OF THE CHARACTERS! Sooka? Reaally? And they didnt even explain anyone or what was happening. I mean they did by TELLING you but that does nothing. That's like if someone writes a book and tells you a guy killed another guy. NO DETAIL! And by the way, I am a MAJOR Zuko fan, and i felt like he was just some random evil guy that shows up every once and a while and had a kid tell his story to him to introduce him into the movie! What the heck. But overall i guess i just don't want people thinking that the show sucked too. The show's amazing. Watch it.

"The movie was great! Cast was perfect"...LMFAO!!! Danielle must be an ass-bender for defending a categorically awful and universally bemoaned movie...LITERALLY 100% of movie critics rated it as garbage...FFS SHYMALAN HIMSELF ADMITTED THE MOVIE SUCKED! M. Night needs to just go away.... and take Danielle with him.

the movie sucked because every decent and unique feature of the original was somehow managed out of the screen play. the movie was horrible and a total absolute rape of potential quality. the original Airbender is enjoyable at every turn. characters all developing on various paths sync and expand to include each other. this movie has been laid in a framework that from casting to scripting eliminates 98% of the humanity, humor, intelligence from the original. 1st the moon spirit kills commander Joau. uncle is a fat buttery soul who in the end reconditions himself in a jail to break himself out. how can the currently cast actor demonstrate the humor and poetry of this moment that is so key. he can not. this entire series would need to be done as a tv series like 24 style taking passion and time to catch and illustrate ever unique facet of the humor and dignity of the original series. if it can't be done or the producers are not willing to do this, then leave it alone and don't fool us with false imitations that mock this well-done collection.

To Danielle: Appearantly you are very racist by saying we have "slanted eyes" and then continue to make fun of us. Also by saying that we "suck at everything." Please- Asians are way ahead in their studies when compared to the American education system. Also notice that Asians are taking many AMERICAN jobs, both high & low-skilled positions.
BACK TO THE MOVIE: I watched and LOVED the animated cartoon series... BUT-the movie sucked!! There are no other words that I can think of right now that can better describe my anger and disappointment!! The casting was HORRIBLE!! The animated series clearly shows ASIAN culture and influence very similar to the Chinese or Japanese! They should have kept the main actors ASIAN to appease the die-hard animated Avatar fans. Along with that, they should have kept the pronounciation of the names exactly the same as the animated series!! Changing the pronounciations just RUINED the movies for the die-hard animated series fans. Also, the movie pacing was HORRIBLE- If I had not watched and known the story before the movie, I would have been pretty confused and lost. There was NO character development, bad acting, and a whole lot of other problems that really killed the movie... Another thing I would like to mention is that FIREBENDERS can only BEND from FIRES already burning (THEY CAN'T MAKE THEIR OWN FIRE?! WTF, SERIOUSLY?!) And yet somehow these fire "benders" are on the verge of conquering the world when they can't even create their own fire?! That's just pathetic. I can rant on forever about how TERRIBAD this movie was, but that'd waste both your time and my time. All I have to say is watch the animated cartoon series of Avatar the Last Airbender and then watch the movie and you'll understand why it is SOOOO GOD AWFULLY BAD!!

for me,this movie SUCKS..
I would recommend that M.NIGHT SHYAMALAN would not do a sequel of this film instead "OTHER" good director would do it.The actors/actresses acting is very bad and awful.How come M.night shyamalan would do such a very bad film?
If I we're given an oppurtunity to remake this or make a sequel,I will assure that the FANS will LOVE it.
the flow of the story is not based on the t.v. series.
I,m a HUGE FAN of the t.v. series so i am expecting for a GOOD movie of this but when i have watched it,it's very disappointing.
the actors/actress do not blend with the real characters.
M.NIGHT SHYAMALAN have ruined it.


I'm a HUGE FAN of the animated cartoon series so i am expecting for this upcoming movie but when i have watched it,it disappoints me.the movie sucks
so this is the
REASONS WHY THIS MOVIE SUCKS FOR ME:
1.the casts do not blend from the original characters.
2.the acting was so awful.
3.IROH is a chubby goofy man not a skinny serious old man.SHAUN TOUB is not ideal for this character.
4.the movie is not very musch exciting
5.Katara is not a white neither sokka.

This movie was terrible! If you could have possibly liked it you must have been blind and deaf. The casting was terrible. The acting horrible. The characters sucked. They completely ruined the anime series that I so dearly love. M. Night. Whatever his name was completely screwed up. Please stay away from The Avatar. Ughh I'm so disgraced about the way he made this movie!!!

i really hope that a REAL avatar movie will born for those disappointed fans

what the f is this movie. i am an indian and i love the avatar series and also watch mostly hollywood movies. whoever comments that asians are rascist please shove their mouses in their brains. this movie lacks characters - it's not about the actors being asian or white so please don't comment on rascism. the acting of nearly every actor in this movie really sucks.

This was the most utterly pathetic piece of sh00t I have ever watched. It lacked suspense and character development. I tried to type alot before, but I couldn't even finish it all, so I'll be as vague as possible. Terrible casting, I'm not racist, but seeing Lily white people play Asians was just....I mean I thought I was watching Harry Potter for a minute. I actually wanted to watch princess Yua (or whatever) to die, it was meant to be tragic, however it failed, it really, really failed. But what it really lacked were three-dimensional characters, none of these people even seemed real. I could make a better movie myself, in fact, if Paramount is interested I will, trust me...I Got This!

I agree the movie was bad. Yet some of you are turning this whole thing into a racial dispute. I took one look at some of these comments and basically got "My race is better than yours!" as the underlying message. I almost wonder that if everyone belonged to the same race if some people would just find other differences in appearances to set themselves up as the 'Supreme race.'
What kills me is people are replying to racist comments with equally and sometime worse remarks. Doing that makes you worse than the numb-f*** who wrote the original comment. Caucasians are not better than asians and asians are not better than whites. No one is better than no one, and such an argument is futile.
As for the movie, it was terrible, forget the skin color of the cast. The whole thing in general sucked. I hated the actor who played Sokka, that was the worst acting I have seen in a while. The special effects were cheesy, the plot line was terrible, and the characters were badly portrayed. It puts shame to the animated series, which was fantastic.

" So once again, the white people are saving the world from everyone else.

It's always a bit disturbing when minority groups lose their characters and roles because Hollywood doesn't see them as marketable enough."

Act like the movie industry isn't liberal why don't you. You're as full of it as most other minorities or wanna-be minorities, which ever your case may be. Minorities are not "entitled" to the leading roles no more then they're "entitled" to anything else. "Give me more of what I've not worked for, because my skin color is different, making me a bigot even though that's what I'm calling the people I'm demanding entitlement from." Go find a rich white guy and see if he'd rather take a white homeless person to dinner or the president. Ya that's right, you figured it out didn't you. Stop playing the race card, all the actors in this film sucked. Well, almost all of them. Had nothing to do with race...

I am white 36 year old male and my whole family (2 twins 8 years old and my wife) love the series and we still watch the repeat episodes all the time when it comes on.
So where to start with the movie. It was basically a summation of the 1st season, which killed all real character development. You had no time to fall in love with the characters unlike in the series.
As for the races for casting, yeah I was/am surprised: they were completely wrong. No intention to offend anyone here, but I would have cast the fire nation folks as Japanese, the water tribe as Inuit or Northern Mongolian, Air nation as either chinese shaolin monk or tibetan monk which all are sorta western chinese in mind, and the earth kingdom could be Indian but more I saw the middle kingdom as well Han Dynasty type (Manchurian). Therefore, I had hoped to see a broad Chinese cast really. Heck, even the styles of martial influence in the movie are Chinese: Bagua (air), Xingyi (earth), Huan gar (fire), and tai chi (water).
Essentially, any good actor could have done well but because of the extremely crushing pace, the odd casting, and jarring bending effects, it was a flop. Too many things to get wrong.
On a side note, I love Uncle Iroh and Mako the voice of the Iroh will be missed (RIP). But characters like Iroh, Sokka, and Toff are the glue and add depth to a streamlined plot. Iroh and sokka were just cast wrong and had poor scripts.
What's really sad is even the spoof of the animated series done inside season 4 of the animated series was better than this movie..
Hilarious.

i really hope that a REAL avatar movie will born for those disappointed fans.

Very good article. I'm dealing with a few of these issues as well..

Aw, this was a really good post. Taking the time and actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don't manage to get anything done.

Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you're working with? I'm going to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

i watch the whole entire show and i enjoyed the cartoon , but when i saw the actual movie, it was an actual waste ! for y'all to say it was perfect!!! kill yourself !!! overall it was boring, there was no details , & last but not least it was not even funny !like for ex zuko had no type of natural humor in this movie, it was terrible !! and for the director to be so stuck up and do the same for the 2nd movie should get a reality check !!! the first movie was nothin that ive expected and it deserves a 2nd chance !

They skipped large parts and saw no dragons. spirit yue's hair is white not silver. the large water fish emerging as revenge for the death of the water spirit has never appeared. there was no wave water fish thing hit the ships away. suko climbed a large icekloof with ang on his back and got stuck by a snowstorm that never happens and I'm not even on the clothes where nothing knocked ..... To be short there wasn't any thing right about this freaking movie and I think they shud do a re make for the fans.

The reason this sucks is because hollywood sucks at making live action. When and if you make a life action stick to the story line.

i saw dis movie in theaters and wuz sooooo disappointed but i dicided hey mybe it would b bettr the second time so i watched it on dvd and i almost cried all over again from disapointment the pronounciation chnge wuz piontless and i finished tue movie asleep on the couch it wuz soooooo boring. i agree wit anyone who says the movie should have a remake like spiderman but i do think the new spideyman wuz amashing except for the fact tht it wuznt as funnay as da original and also i dont like the idea of artificial webs versus organc ones

Ok seriously y'all are being pretty racist which is sO uncalled for honestly this mOvie sucked ass I mean they pronounced all the name's wrong 1 then the main characters are white 2 and the acting was so bad it was a let down 3 and 4 I would expect more and better from M .knight shalOme and they left out big chunck's of the movie to speed the movie up if your not going to do something right don't dO it at all I could a have done a better job then the actor who Played aang and the fire benders couldn't even start there on flame they only exaggerated the flame it was clearly poorly put tOgether

Where do I start? The fact that this movie has the depth of a kiddie pool or the fact that whoever cast this poor excuse for entertainment was screwed in the head. I'm a huge fan of the original series it was awesome and for a cartoon it had amazing effects and character development. The movie however sucked. My one honest regret is that whoever thought to allow the release of this monumental piece of s*** probably won't read this. But I have some major questions: Why is Zuko from slum dog millionaire? Why is aang an even bigger coward than in the cartoon minus 3 feet of height? Why is the bending so disappointing that I could produce better from watering my lawn, kicking some sand, using a grill lighter and turning on a fan. Weak excuse for a movie.

Hello, I have watched all of the animated series and am currently about ten minutes into watching the movie...wow is really all I can say at this Point.....first of all I would like to point out that Hellen keller could play the main characters role better than the main character himself. The actors in this movie rival the acting skills of a school play done by mentally handicapped children. I mean come on...It kinda seems like it would be actually difficult to act that terrible. But besides the bucket of vomit called "acting" in this movie, everything else was horrid as well. Like, anything would be more entertaining than this movie. Just do yourself a favor and don't see this movie if you haven't already. I literally was ten minutes into the movie today and I just had to pause it, throw up while crying, and ask myself why such a movie was ever made. I can understand the appeal of this movie to a ten year old, but for everyone else with eyes and ears this is like having someone scratch a chalkboard with their nails while watching Dr Phil. Just please take into account that many people like me actually take the time out of their day to spread the word about how f***ed this movie is. Seriously, what were the actors and director thinking when they completed the movie and looked it over? Because they couldn't possibly be thinking "hmmm this is pretty good". But obviously they're all insane for letting garbage ever come out and destroy people's dream for an awesome avatar movie.

I really love the avatar series, and I liked the avatar movie, even the actors sure, but I don't know why they made it so different to the avatar series, I'm not talking about the actors, I'm talking about the movement, I focused on some parts like when Aang and Zuko (spirit mask dude) I focused on their fighting movement, I saw some parts were late, Like Zuko stopped in the part of slow motion protecting Aang from a slash, the warrior that supposed to slash was a bit late, Zuko was like give me five,,,, slash, and another thing, they pronounce Aang name differently, and the firebending are different too, aren't firebender suppose to bend without the need of fire, they're like waterbender, but using using, you know what I mean? and the part when they fight the firebenders freeing the earth benders, the DUDE was supposed to CHAAAARGE, he was just like standing there waiting for the wind to blow him.... HE WAS DANCING HOLDING A SWORD, then fwooom~ airbend~. ow and the 21 reason why the movie sucks, SUCKS! I didn't see the reason why the avatar sucks.

I hated this movie and just to clarify i am white so im not racist butSOKKA AND KATARA ARE NOT WHITE! I MEAN I THINK TOPH AND AANG ARE BUT I THINK ZUKO IS HALF CAST BUT THEY MUCKED UP EVERYTHING! I MEAN SOME OF THE ONLY COLOURED PPL ARE WHITE? WTH IS UP WITH THAT? AND THE EARTHBENDERS SUCKED, HARU WAS A LITTLE KID AND IROH WASNT NICE :'( ALSO AANG IS COMPLETELY SERIOUS SOKKA IS BORING AND PLAIN, KATARA IS ACTING LIKE SAKARA HARUNO BEFORE THE TIME SKIP! COMPLETELY USELESS! ZUKO IS PLAYED OK BUT HE SHOULD BE ANGRIER AT THIS POINT AND WHERE IS HIS PONYTAIL! ALSO "SOKKA THE MEAT AND SARCASM GUY" WHERE THE HELL WAS HE? AND WHY IS HIS BOOMERANG A SPEAR? WHY IS GRAN GRAN THAT TRUSTING? WHAT THE HELL IS APPA? ALSO IROH IS LIKE ONE OF MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS! WHERE ARE HIS PROVERBS AND TEA AND PAI SHO? ALSO I LOVE IT WHEN ZUKO IMITATES HIM IN SEASON THREE XP I REALLY HATED THIS MOVIE,AS MY FRIENDS KNOW AS I GO OFF IN A RANT WHENEVER THIS IS MENTIONED, AND I REALLY DONT WANT TO SEE WHAT THEY DO TO TOPH, AZULA, THE KYOSHI WARRIORS , MEI AND TY-LEE!!! BYE. THOUGH I CANT WAIT TILL THE PROMISE PART THREE COMES OUT OR TLOK BOOK TWO SPIRITS

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