Open letter to M. Night...
Just saw "The Last Airbender" and I have a few questions...
Did you ever see the cartoon? Even one episode? Have you ever been a child?
Biggest issue is Aang's name... For three brilliant seasons, it was pronounced "eng", never "ahng" or "ung"... so you lost half your audience right there because there was constant discussion and grumbles abound everytime the damn star's name was uttered. Bad juju. Guess it somehow important to change that?
Ok, so after paying a bit of attention, I realized that wasn't the worst problem.
Visually, the movie was passable. Sets, costumes, even Apa and Momo were decent, although waaaay underused. It's a kid's movie. The struggle is important, the politics are important, but the fantasy, the adventure... where were they?
You took the most important thing from the story: Children. The chemistry between the kids, and their personalities were missing in their entirety. Aang is conflicted about his status. He wants to be a kid and gets into mischief. He wants to have friends (maybe even a girlfriend) and be normal. He also wants to be the Avatar, but it takes him until the final seconds of the final frame of the final episode of the cartoon to figure that out.
Too much focus on Zuko (and if I'm spelling these wrong, I don't care). I had more sympathy for him by the end credits than I did for the protagonist.
Sokka wasn't funny. He had no personality whatsoever. He was the comic relief in the story. Katara was useless, almost unimportant in the film. What? Really? The star's love interest was whittled down to nothing.
GARRRR! This movie elicited one emotion from me. Anger. When it was over, I wanted to clean my ears with Q-tips and wash my eyeballs. So far off the mark on what should've been a very simple transition.
Here's what needs to happen: Change the title of the movie to "Last Crappy Attempt with Bad Dialogue".
Give the rights to a fresh director with vision, compassion and a sense of humour and start over--for the fans.
Or, just let people see the cartoon series which was phenomenal.
The most unfortunate thing is that it likely won't be "The Last" airbender movie. My only wish is that the next installment go into more qualified hands.