July 1, 2010, - 3:22 pm

Mid-Week Box Office: “The Last Airbender”

By Debbie Schlussel

Based on a Nickelodeon cartoon, “The Last Airbender” debuts in theaters, today, and is directed by M. Night Shyamalan.  It’s aimed at kids and is a non-animated story of a young monk who saves the world from the evil fire lord.  The most (unintentionally) funny part about this movie is that I thought the monk looked more like a Jewish kid than a monk.  And, sure enough, it appears that my Jew-dar is functioning well, as the actor who plays the monk is 12-year-old First-Degree Taekwondo Black Belt Noah Ringer (“The Karate Kid-owitz”?).


The story:  the earth is divided into four nations: air, water, fire, and earth.  Each has benders, who have powers to move and transform their respective element with their minds.  Two young eskimo types (played by White kids, but no biggie, since a Jewish kid is the heavily tattooed monk) are searching for food on the ice, when they discover a bulging sphere.  They crack it open and out comes a kid who is an airbending monk, “Aang,” and his giant flying animal.  He is the last survivor of the air nation and is the “avatar,” who can save the world.  But the fire nation is looking for the monk.  They want to capture him and make him theirs.  The fire lord’s son, a loser who desperately seeks to prove himself to a loveless dad, is on a ship seeking the monk.  He and his father kidnap the monk over and over.  And he’s freed over and over.  The end.  Lots of epic music, but not much epic stuff in this flick to accompany it, as much as they want us to think so.  Unexciting, unmoving.  And just not all that interesting.

But, as a kids’ movie, it’s fine, and there’s nothing objectionable about it.  It’s just that it was boring, unoriginal, and makes Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s  “The Karate Kid” remake (read my review) look like Shakespeare stuff. It wasn’t a tight story.  It wasn’t well done.  And it was repetitive and sort of pointless.  Although the message–good versus evil–is a good one, there’s a lot of filler to get to it.  And with such a large budget, so much action, and so many special effects, it was so utterly dull.

And then, there’s the 3D.  Because of the success of “Avatar” (read my review), every studio wants to make its film in 3D.  But in this case, there was absolutely no point to it, other than making me wear ugly glasses and giving me a pinch-nosed headache.  This movie would have been fine in the conventional 2D that we’re used to.  And it would have been every bit as dull and boring.


Watch the trailer . . .

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18 Responses

How disappointing to hear. Was hoping Shyamalan put something good together this time out. He’s such a hit and miss director.

perception of truth on July 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm

My mind is bent from reading that confusing plot.

I’m disappointed to read what sounds like yet another Shyamalan flop. I loved “The Sixth Sense” and “The Village”, especially.

Jeff_W on July 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm

With only one real hit in “Sixth Sense,” how does Shyamalan keep getting picture deals?

Red Ryder on July 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Although I suppose his name might sound vaguely Jewish, Noah Ringer isn’t Jewish. But the lead actors in Percy Jackson and Diary of a Wimpy Kid were both Jewish, so there’s not a shortage of Jewish child actors…

Jenny on July 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm

This movie is just another example of Hollywood ‘whitewashing’ a movie just to make money. The main characters in the comic are of Asian origin and they are played by white actors. How sad–I hope the movie tanks! This also happened in the stupid movie ’21′[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21_(2008_film) ].

Sange on July 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Bummer…I LOVE the cartoon and was really looking forward to the movie. And I’d like to see M. Night have a hit.

Amy on July 1, 2010 at 8:22 pm

There is one Jewish person in the film, Shaun Toub, but he plays an antagonist.

Sange on July 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Not quite true, Sange – I’m pretty sure Nicola Peltz (the female lead) is Jewish, too. Apparently her father is millionaire Nelson Peltz.

Jenny on July 1, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Another example of Hollywood’s illuminati working to destroy American sovereignty!

The following picture reminds me of what happens after seeing this piece of propaganda…


Bob Porrazzo on July 2, 2010 at 7:25 am

This guy hit it pretty good with Sixth Sense and the other
Bruce Willis flick, but he has really flopped since.

Daniel K on July 2, 2010 at 9:20 am

I don’t know. I like kids to be kids, real kids (like those Ally commercials) I don’t want to see smart aleck kids or savior of the world kids. I didn’t expect to be entertained when I went in there. My husband wanted to see it. I expected to eat some popcorn and then take a nap, which I did.

Janis on July 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

The problem is you are all adults who went to see a movie made for young kids and then you talk about how it was dull and you didn’t like it…..well seeing how you are NOT the target of the movie I’m lost to see what the problem is. I liked the toon, the movie could have used some work however based on the reaction of kids sitting around me they enjoyed it….which is how it should have been.

This is why I hate reading reviews. 95% of reviewers have NO idea how to review.

Terry on July 6, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Noah Ringer is definitely not Jewish.

Actually, Noah Ringer has something in common with the star of Percy Jackson, Logan Lerman. Both of their paternal grandfathers were born in Germany in the 1930s/1920s. Lerman’s grandfather had to leave Germany in the 1930s for “urgent reasons”, while Ringer’s grandfather stuck around until well into the late 1940s. You figure it out…

dee on March 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Oh, interesting tidbit I just found: Noah Ringer is so Jewish that his great-grandfather, Friedrich Karl Franz Ringer, is on a list of “known Nazis who worked for both the CIA and U.S. Army Intelligence post 1948”.

dee on December 26, 2013 at 9:08 am

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