My sixth sense is tingling and all signs point to M. Night Shyamalan’s destruction of what many saw as an unbreakable television franchise. The anticipation was palpable for the theatrical adaptation of one of the most heralded animated series on television. $318 million in worldwide box office didn’t stop movie fans from turning Shyamalan into the laughing stock of Hollywood.
In our 1.5-star review of The Last Airbender, Rob Keyes criticizes the movie for “fail[ing] miserably at doing justice to the hit cartoon series it’s based on.” He goes on to say it is “a poorly constructed film with no sense of plot, character or emotion – and aside from the visuals, there are little to no redeeming qualities in this wasted opportunity of a fantastic property, which was ripe for a film adaptation.” Considering the visual effects were the best part of the movie, it also created mass confusion by distracting the audience from a plot that was already confusing enough.
Few films prompted such a flurry of editorials as The Last Airbender. We couldn’t help but wonder what happened to M. Night Shyamalan and whether or not the film would be the next Transformers 2. This won’t be the end of Shyamalan’s career as he still rakes in big box office results, but maybe audiences are finally catching on to his major faults as a filmmaker.