Hello, my fiendish friends and welcome to a new installment here at Evil Lair. Here, as the title claims, is the first Optimistic Reviews. Where I take a movie that was objectively bad and try to find something at least a little bit redeeming about it.
And I couldn't think of any better movie to start with than The Last Airbender. Because I do so love a challenge.
For those of you who live under a rock, let me get you up to speed. Avatar the Last Airbender was a cartoon series on Nick about a world where people could control the elements of fire, water, earth, and air with one person able to control all the elements. This one person is born over and over again to learn and be the balance in the world. The fire nation then goes all colonialist and begins to invade around the same time the Avatar disappears. He reappears a century later and has to restore the balance that tipped waaaay over by the Fire Nation.
This show was well received by pretty much anyone who's seen it. Which is also how it ended up on M Night Shyamalan's radar. His daughter was a fan, he created the movie as a present to her, yadda yadda yadda. We all know the story.
But now onto this dumpster fire. I mean... this perfectly adequate movie experience.
The effects were decently done. All the water and fire bending was pretty to look at as it moved and such. The scenery was pretty accurate for the most part. It had a good world to play in. It's hard to redeem much else from this, but then I thought about it from halfway through the movie.
There's an episode in the show where the group ends up seeing a play based on the Avatar's adventures. What is we look at it like that?
“But Jay,” you might say, “that play was whimsical and fun! Clearly whoever wrote that understood the tone of Avatar, at the very least!” True, but you know who could have wrote this after seeing that play?
Zuko. This movie was written by Zuko.
Just think about it. Everyone is super serious. It's hammed up to the max. The dialogue is overly dramatic and extremely stale. The Fire Nation is still the bad guys, but even they are coming across as blah at best. Best of all; Azula only gets two extremely minor shots and only one line in the very last scene.
Zuko's not really loved for his creative spirit and sense of humor, after all. Given a pen and told to write his recounts of the time he was trying to regain his honor? It would probably look a little something like this movie. And looking at it like that, I can say it was slightly more bearable.
Anyway, that is what I have for you lovely folks on this day. I hope you enjoyed me trying to find some kind of solace in the two hours I will never get back. Until next time, my friends.
Fare Thee Well!