Promoting M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender on the Today Show, Dev Patel looked a wee bit uncomfortable this morning. Perhaps that’s because the actor had already seen a The Last Airbender review in his daily paper? Because the film, based on the Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, is being savaged by the critics. All of the critics. Here are a few choice quotes from the Last Airbender reviews we tracked down:
“The Last Airbender? Let’s hope so…After 94 minutes — was that all? I could have sworn it was days — of muddy 3-D imagery and muddled storytelling, the idea that this is just the first Last Airbender seems either delusionally optimistic or downright cruel,” wrote A.O. Scott in The New York Times. And that was the least of it…
In The Boston Globe, Ty Burr writes, “it’s a tossup as to which is worse: the script, which regularly grinds to a halt to Explain Everything until the movie curls up and dies; the shockingly dingy camerawork; or the execrable 3-D. The latter comes in two modes: barely noticeable, as if the technicians set the knob at 1.3 and went out for lunch, or actively irritating. Really, I’ve got winking-Jesus postcards that look better.”
“It’s almost sad what a mess The Last Airbender is,” concurs Joe Neumaier in The New York Daily News.
Will your kids still beg to see it? Probably. As a test run, The Times‘ A.O. Scott brought along a 9-year-old to his viewing. The kid’s analysis of how the film’s going to do? “They’re screwed.”