I watched this abomination of a movie over the weekend with my nephew. We’re both huge fans of the cartoon. It’s Tre’s favorite. So when we heard about the movie, we both were pretty excited for it. Then I heard M. Night Shyamalamadingdong was attached to direct, and my excitement immediately dropped.
Then I watched a special with Shyamalamadingdong on the making of the movie, and learned some troubling things. Number 1, no Kiyoshi warriors. They’re kind of important to the story, but whatever. Then I noticed he kept pronouncing Aang’s name as “Ong” instead of “Ayng”, and then he explained that that was how the Asian people would really say the name. I’m immediately like, “Fuck that shit!” Who gives a shit how they would say it. Its been pronounced “ayng” for three fucking seasons. That’s the name. What pissed me off most about that was not that the name was changed, it was that he was a hypocritical douchebag. He talks about the Asian people then casts two white people as two of the biggest roles. That being Sokka(pronounced ‘soeka’ now) and Katara. Never mind the entire water tribe looked like Inuit’s in the movie. Apparently we’re not supposed to notice that though.
Thirdly, Prince Zuko’s scar is barely noticeable. Again, kind of a big thing. It’s what makes him noticeable, what makes him unable to hide his shame and dishonor at the hands of his father. Now it’s just a little scratch that a little neosporin can take care of. Speaking of Zuko, his Uncle Iroh(now pronounced ‘eeroe’), Is not a fat jolly wise old man, but seemed more like a personal attendant. I felt no love coming from Iroh like I did in the cartoon. He was by far my favorite character in the show besides Aang.
Zuko’s father is horribly cast. Nothing about him screams Fire Lord. Just so fuckin’ bad. But even worse casting was the casting of Aasif Mandvi as Commander Zhao. Soon as he appeared on screen I thought, “Fuckin really?” I just can’t take him seriously after watching the Daily Show for years. I kept waiting for him to say something outlandish. But alas, he played it straight…just like everybody else.
Which brings me to point four. The complete lack of humor and personality in the movie. What made the show so endearing was the humor despite the herculean task in front of our would be heroes. They always managed to keep a fun positive air around them. In the movie its doom and gloom and the emotion they did try just did not come off good. I felt nothing for any of the character’s. Even when Princess Yue sacrificed herself, I just didn’t care.
The most telling thing about the movie is when my 7 year old nephew said, “The best part of the movie was at the beginning when they were doing the “fire, water, earth, air” thing.” He was harder on the movie than me, and he’s the key demographic. That’s saying something and that something isn’t fuckin’ good.
In closing, fuck you M. Night Shyamalamadingdong. Fuck you, your shitty writing, and your shitty directing. You’re barely a step behind Keanu Reeve’s as far as Hollywood shit is concerned. I bid you good day.