So let’s start with the good: the bending still looks amazing — like, really amazing — and it appears that whoever’s choreographing the fights has watched the cartoons closely. Very cool. It’s also cool that M. Night Shyamalan can apparently direct a CG/special effects heavy action film with little or no problem — given his body of work so far, there wasn’t much indication to me he’d be able to do a film like The Last Airbender. But if the trailers are any indication, he doing an amazing job. It’s also cool to see that he’s following the cartoon so closely; it appears this movie ends right where season 1 ends. And hey, Yue!
Here’s my worry — and yes, this comes after I’ve watched the entire Avatar cartoon and no, it’s not about Aang’s voice although he still sounds like a middle-aged transsexual to me. It’s the humor… or the lack therof. The thing that most surprised me about the Avatar cartoon — and the biggest reason I enjoyed it so much — is that it was funny. And there’s been zero indication that Shymalan has included any of that humor into his movie. Even if he has, I’d say humor is actually harder to do than directing a CG/special effects heavy action film, so there’s no guarantee he’d do it well. Plus, given that Shyamalan wrote the script himself, well… there not being any comedy might be the lesser of two awfuls.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.