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M. Night Shymalan’s may in fact be going ahead with his plans to make The Last Airbender 2 (Or it’s alternative title: Shymalan’s biggest filmography fail part 2) , the sequel to his 2010 film based off of the popular kids show; Avatar: The Last Airbender.
In a recent interview with IGN, Shymalan defends his failed adaptation of Avatar. He states that the film was for 9 and 10 year olds, and he didn’t want to do a “Transformers version and have Megan Fox” alluding to the Michael Bay transformers film series which was geared more towards adults. This, along with the fact that he still occasionally talks about the sequel, leads many to believe he plans to move forward with the 2nd installment of the trilogy.
According to Shymalan his two options for The Last Airbender movie were to make it a childrens movie, or to make it a pornography staring Megan Fox. As most of us know considering it’s poor online reviews, this director took the far less traveled door #3 and made a film that was actually worse than getting kicked in the balls for two hours.
In case you were too lazy to click the IGN link to read his interview, the whole paragraph about The Last Airbender that he ranted on about can basically be summed up to “Well at least it wasn’t that terrible sexy Transformers movie AmIRIGHT?!”
My man Shym, you had so many different routes you could have gone on to keep it kid friendly and still appease to the fan base. Most of the fan base just wanted an adaptation that was true to the original characters and story. But you changed so many things that it felt like you were trying say “Hey, you know that original story? F**k that, look at this, its more interesting!”
Nobody (at least I assume not a lot of people) asked you to sex up the story.
So if you ever come across this article, or if you are just the average internet dweller like myself, here are a few of the unforgivable’s about
The Last Sh*tBender, Shymalans Morning Dump, The Last Airbender.
First and foremost, the name pronunciation;
Aang is not pronounced AHHng
Iroh is not pronounced EARoh
Sokka is not pronounced SOH-CAH
If you are making a film adaptation about something, maybe it would be a good idea to watch said thing. I mean you must have at least SEEN the shows right? At what point did you think it was a good and valid idea to change these names but leave most of the others the same, this accomplished nothing, but to piss off/confuse the fans.
2. Lack of comedic…well anything.
For saying you wanted to make it a kids movie, there seemed to be a lack of anything the children would have liked (I’ll get to fight scenes soon). The two biggest comedic relief characters in the show were devoid of even a smile in the films. Sokka and Iroh (sorry Sohcah and Earoh) did not make a single joke in the movies, you made them into serious, no nonsense, and overall boring characters. Iroh just spouted off wisdom most of the time like some dated grandfather, which was only half of his character in the show. Sokka didn’t even grow to like Aang like in the show, and he remained static the entire movie.
3. The choices for bending did not make any sense.
Firebending and Earthbending: Just…no.
Part of what makes the firebenders so menacing is their ability to produce fire. Taking that out turned them into easily defeat-able opponents…like too easily defeated. I get that it was suppose to put them on equal field with the other benders…but if you wanted to do that, don’t put giant barrels of fire everywhere (even in the goddamn North Pole) for them to use at will, and don’t have one character at the end of the film suddenly start to produce fire. Yes Iroh is a genius, but now you are just contradicting the equal playing field part if they can suddenly start doing it mid story.
Earthbenders…all I have to say to this is IT DOES NOT TAKE 6 FREAKING EARTHBENDER PERFORMING SOME CHOREOGRAPHED DANCE ROUTINE TO PICK UP AND SLOWLY THROW ONE SINGLE ROCK. (See video here [credit to menusia50 for the video])
Also, you took out a lot of the original aspects of bending, such as the fact that the different bendings were based on 4 different original Chinese martial arts. As a martial artist myself who personally could identify a lot of the different moves they did in the show, I can confidently say, most of your benders where just swinging their arms around aimlessly.
4. The race thing.
OK, look, I don’t normally bring up hot button topics, but this one has to be mentioned.
In the show: People from the Water tribe are more Eskimo looking while fire nation have more of an Asian/White look.
In the movie: People from the water tribe (AKA our protagonist) are White while the Fire nation (the antagonists) are Indian.
I know this is a problem in Hollywood sometimes…but c’mon Shymalan…you could do better than this…
In summary Mr. Shymalan, it wasn’t the fact that you didn’t sex up the movie that caused it to flop, it was the fact that you had a recipe for perfection, a fully created world with different cultures, characters and styles, and instead of just creating a live action version (which I can tell you, would have done phenomenally) you changed things that didn’t need to be changed, and things that shouldn’t be changed to fit your own whim. There is a big difference between a Directors artistic vision, and completely changing a world that already has a huge fan base just to say that you were different.
You can make the movie if you want, but I guarantee it will be a bigger film fail than the first, unless you somehow pay homage to the original series in such a way that it wipes the first movie from everyone’s mind. But short of divine intervention, I doubt that’s possible.
But by all means, do it for the kids.
Editors note: WHERE THE HELL WAS SUKI??
Editors final note: My favorite part of that IGN article is the fact that Avatar creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante stated that they just pretend the film never existed. Come on Shymalan, even the creators don’t stand by what you did.
Rich Clancey June 22, 2015
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