The film “Avatar: The Last Airbender” greatly dishonors its source material

The film Avatar: The Last Airbender greatly dishonors its source material

Avatar: The Last Airbender was a disaster of a production created by M. Night Shyamalan. Alright, disaster is an understatement, we meant a catastrophic fiasco. The movie was based off the animation series by Nickelodeon, which aired from 2005 to 2008 and gathered a large following and lots of praise.Unfortunately, the beloved animation series featuring all Asian characters was foolishly ruined by a movie with a plotline of 20 crammed episodes.

This movie is rated 4.2/10 on the IMDb which is very low, while the expectation for this movie was high when viewing all that was left was mere disappointment. The reviews weren’t giving the movie a good vibe either.

“Much of the actual story was cut out, pieced together with events that didn’t make sense, and new sequences were added that had nothing to do with the storyline. The actors, their attire, and even their locations looked nothing like they were portrayed in the series,” wrote user Steffauri516 on a movie review website Common Sense Media.

The characters in the actual show have their own unique personalities that makes them the characters that we love in this day and age. For example Sokka, he could be arguably the best character in the whole cartoon in our opinion. Sokka is funny, and his character always gets the better arcs where in the beginning he is depicted as a risky, clumsy, close minded boy, transforming in the end into a brilliant, hilarious, brother and friend.

Let’s not forget Sokka’s boomerang. In the cartoon Sokka and his boomerang are inseparable; he never goes anywhere without it, and when he flings it and it misses, it never fails to come back and hit something.  So then why wasn’t he with it at all in the movie, a plank if plywood could play a better Sokka than this imposer?

In the show Aang has his signature look with the most important feature of his blue arrow from the top of his head all the way down to his legs. But in the movie, the blue arrow was replaced with Henna tattooing, which diverged from the original look.

It’s also important to mention that Katara was not represented as a rebellious and strong-willed teenage girl who stood up for her brother and friends. Instead, she was represented as a weak and indecisive thirteen-year old girl.

This bothers us greatly as Katara’s character in the movie did not live up to her true character in the series.

Another critic Lou Lumenick from New York Post said, “Stilted dialogue, wooden acting, glacial pacing, cheesy special effects, tacky-looking sets, ugly costumes, poorly staged and edited action sequences, all shown in murky, cut-rate 3-D.”

“In the series, every movement had a meaning; in the film, only about one in ten does,” said by Citoyen who posted it on the IMDb website.

One scene that further explains his comment is a scene from the movie where about 4 actors did a whole martial arts performance only resulting in one boulder lifting up. In the original series it would only take one man to lift up not even a boulder but the whole ground with a simple bending maneuver move. These action scenes resulted in more martial arts than the actual movement of elements.

After watching this disaster, our eyes are still bleeding and suffering tremendous traumatic injury.

The top critics aren’t doing this movie any favors with its reviews. M. Night Shyamalan is receiving the worst of it with people calling him a “woodbender,” describing his ideas for the movie and his direcing to be, ‘flat and stiff as a particle board.”

This remake missed out on some of the key factors that made Avatar a popular series.

We should give a shout out to the cosplay characters who do a way better job looking like the original characters than this movie.

Instead of The Last Airbender, this wretched movie should be called The White Kids Who Can’t Act and Say Aang’s Name Properly ft. interchangeable Asian actors.

The first crime Shyamalan committed was casting WHITE actors for the roles of the originally Asian and Native American characters. Considering the director HIMSELF is a person of color the reason as to why he decided to choose non-minority actors of the accurate race is very inscrutable. He decided not to choose actors of color to represent in the media.

The original animation promotes a minority in America that is rarely seen in media itself. But the thing that stands out is that the minority are the main characters in the series. And not the sidekick, the nerds, the geeks, the punk goth, the science olympians or mathletes, or even the “kung-fu” sidekick. They’re not the side, they’re in the center. And that’s what makes this animation unique. But what Shyamalan has done is erased that opportunity for minority Asians to feel like for once, they aren’t just on the sidelines and are insignificant to the story.

It’s also a shame that the only time we see minority actors are for the bad guys, the Firebenders and a couple of Asian side actors during a short scene with a village.

Although the Avatar animation series never mentions anything about being “Asian,” it’s obvious that there are cultural influences from the far east, with the uses of Chinese and Japanese characters, and ancient Asian type architecture for example.

There’s also no credit towards Native Americans and Polynesians and their large influence towards the animation. With different types of attire for the Water Tribes and their customs as well as their residence which include igloos.

Some people have not been bothered by the whitewash in the live action film because they say that do not see the Avatar world as Asia in the first place.

Despite that the world that Avatar the Last Airbender was set in does not look like Asia and the map that is seen in the introduction before every episode doesn’t look like Asia deserves an eye roll. OF COURSE the map doesn’t look like Asia, this isn’t a realistic fiction series, it’s a completely fictional series with influences from Asian culture. If the pagoda-inspired buildings in the Earth Kingdom or the Kyoshi Warriors garments don’t strike any similarities… I have nothing else to say.

I’d also like to mention some of the Indian influences on the animated series. For example, the usage of the phrase Agni Kai, this phrase was used in association with the Fire Nation. Agni actually comes from Vedic Hinduism for the god of Fire as well as a symbol of a guardian deity in a Hindu temple. And the Airbenders have influences from Tibet through nomads and similar temple structures.

We’re 100% positive that this atrocious piece of work was very disappointing to long standing fans of all ages. There are many flaws in this… piece of disappointment from the whitewashing to the amateur acting to the poor special effects. With a rating of 6% on the rotten tomatoes this movie is a failed effort of trying to recreate a popular original nickelodeon series.

And to those that did somehow, manage, to enjoy the movie, I’d like not to judge with a heavy stare, rather, judge with raised eyebrows. For they have not truly experienced the Avatar: The Last Airbender journey, a journey that took many on a rollercoaster of adventure and quality content. If you enjoyed the show’s humor, imagination, and depth you can forget about Shyamalan’s production, because all of that is not present in the remake.