The Last Airbender
September 03, 2013
(Dissolve into first scene set up like the Avatar: The Last Airbender intro showing the Avatar DVD box sets, 3 with Katara, played by Rachel Tietz, narrating)
Katara (vo): Water. Earth. Fire. Long ago, the three seasons lived together in harmony. But then, everything changed when the Shyamalan attacked. (The Fire Nation is promptly represented in the form of a camera crew shining studio lights in front of the Hollywood Sign, with the hill washed in a red filter) Only the "Avid Jerk", master of ripping films apart, could restore balance. (The Avid Jerk is Doug standing on the pointy top of a mountain, yelling gibberish and kicking up rocks and fire with each stomp of his foot) But when the world needed him most, he vanished. (A poster for The Last Airbender appears behind Doug)
Doug: Ohhhh, fuck this noise! (He turns and walks down from the rock. Dissolve to the last scene from the previous review as Rachel continues)
Katara (vo): Several years passed, and my brother and I discovered the new Avid Jerk -- a reviewer named Nostalgia Critic, (Sokka, Katara, and NC are walking in a parking lot) and although his critiquing skills are great, he has much to learn before he can save anything. (NC begins running away from the two, but Katara bloodbends and slams NC into a brick wall. Dissolve to NC facing the sky.) But I believe Nostalgia Critic can save the franchise.
(NC moves out of the way as the title "Nostalgia Critic: The Last Airbender Review" appears. Dissolve to a white screen with the TGWTG logo and a heading that reads: "Book One (of one): The Great Fire Inferno Destiny Bad". Cut to a photo with the caption: "The Hot Air Temple". Cut to NC who is sitting and meditating)
Sokka: Concentrate, Critic. (Cut to Malcolm Ray and Rachel, dressed as Sokka and Katara respectively) Absorb every episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender to review the movie.
NC: Why can't I just watch the shows again?
Katara: It would take too long, and the franchise has suffered enough at the hands of the Fuck-Up Lord, Shyamalan.
Sokka: That's why you need to get in contact with a past life to see if any of them had seen the show.
Katara: Thus absorbing it into your memory.
NC: (mumbling) You mean like how you should absorb a new hairstylist?
(Katara bloodbends NC and makes him hit himself)
NC: OW! You know, I thought bloodbending was supposed to be taboo. Like nobody should have that unlimited control.
Katara: Well, M. Night Shyamalan keeps getting unlimited control and nobody's stopping him!
NC: That's true. (Katara makes NC hit himself again) D'OWW!!
Katara: Now concentrate harder!!
(NC groans and resumes concentrating. Flash to brief clip of Doug's Last Airbender Vlogs)
NC: Wait... (Cut to more clips of the vlogs) I... I think I'm getting it. Yeah... I think I'm getting visions from another life.
(Clips of several Last Airbender Vlogs spliced together)
Doug Walker: I'll just go through an episode a night. It's just the right balance. Avatar, my new favorite show.
Rob Walker: Still one of my favorite shows.
(Cut back to NC)
NC: My God, it-it's coming to me. (Sokka and Katara are now smiling hopefully) Ingenious writing, brilliant characters, and a fanbase obsessing over name pronunciation rather than the meaning of each episode. BY GOD! (NC opens his eyes and stands up) IT'S COMING TO ME!
Sokka: You got it, Critic?
NC: Yes! Avatar is one of the greatest TV series of all time!
Sokka: Good. Now you're ready to review the Fuck-up Lord's disaster opus.
NC: But wait... (turns to the camera) Just because I know about it doesn't mean the people at home know about it. How are we gonna catch them up to speed?
Sokka: Katara, Guitar-a.
(Katara pulls out a guitar and strums. Note: all parts sung will be italicized and in bold)
(In pops Chester A. Bum pointing to an annotation with 3:30 on it)
Chester A. Bum: Go to this part if you haven't seen the show yeeeeeeet...
NC: Ooooooooooh... (Set to clips from the show going along with the lyrics set in sing-along style)
- 4 nations exist called Earth, Wind, Fire and Water (brief shot of Ma-Ti)
- Til Fire decided things should get hotter
- Invasions aren't nice, but then to break the ice
- Aang the Avatar rose to make them pay the price
- Katara and Sokka help him to keep in the know
- Flying what looks like a white Neighbor Totoro
- Chased by their foe, a young prince named Zuko
- Don't ask him about his scar or Rufio
- The Avatar masters the elements flawlessly
- Toughest of Tophs turned his blind eye so cautiously
- Avatar State opens at a great rate
- But Azula serves his arrowed ass on a plate
- Katara revises him and they sing their love song
- But Zuko decides this emo shit's gone too long
- He switches sides...
(Clip of Gandalf from The Two Towers)
Gandalf: ...at the turn of the tide...
- And now Aang is on fire with his smoking guide
- Katara and Zuko beat Azula on the cuff
- Mostly because she is...
(Clip of Cocoa Puffs commercial plays in the corner)
Sonny: Coo-coo for Coco Puffs!
- Aang's feeling ill 'cause he don't want to kill
- But the cowardly Lion Turtle says "Hold still..."
- He's given the gift to depower the Fire Lord
- Nation says...
- ...Zuko can lead the horde
- Go and live happily in the world that is free
- Just remember that it's thanks to baldy
- So that is the show and it's good that you know
- Because it is the best as good cartoon shows go
- And so now that you heard, go ahead, spread the word
- That the best Avatar ain't that blue pussy turd [by James Cameron]
- Now on with the review!
(Cut to title of The Last Airbender)
NC (vo): So judging from the beginning, the film actually looks pretty promising, reenacting the visuals to the show's intro rather flawlessly. Even the text scroll isn't really that bad. Though how is it a season with 20 episodes (clip from the series intro with the caption "5 sentences" is shown) can get their backstory off faster than (cut back to movie with caption "8 sentences") an hour and a half movie can?
Katara (movie) (vo): The Avatar was the only person born amongst all the nations who could master all four elements. And then a hundred years ago, he just disappeared.
NC (vo): But sadly, (sigh) we witness the greatest weakness of any Shyamalan film -- they start talking.
Katara (movie) (vo): My brother and I live in the Southern Water Tribe, which was once a big city. Food is scarce. My brother and I often go hunting for food...
NC (vo): (sarcastically) Yeah, way to use "food" twice in the same sentence, Academy Award-nominated writer.
Katara (movie) (vo): Our father's off fighting in the war. My mother was taken prisoner and killed when I was young.
NC (vo): This borebending you're witnessing is being performed by the siblings of the Water Tribe named Katara and Sokka. And yes, the climate is looking much whiter than usual. And I don't think taking away the snow is gonna fix that any. (Cut to Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon, to show that they are actually dark-skinned in the show) This is curious as in the show, Katara and Sokka definitely seem to have an Inuit design. And that makes sense; their upbringing is very similar to Eskimo culture. (Cut back to the movie) Strangely enough, the rest of the village seems to have this down. But with these two, I think Kathy Bates from North (brief clip of said movie is played) was a more convincing fake Eskimo.
NC: But I'm not here to judge the color of their skin, only the quality of their acting.
NC (vo): And I'm sure if these two acted so well that they just seem perfect for the part like nobody else can do it better, maybe we can overlook the color difference and see past all that...
Sokka (movie): I watched which side of the fin tracks are more indented that shows you which direction they're going. I saw how long the drag skids are...
(Cut to NC who is shocked)
NC: Ohhh, nooo.
NC (vo): They both succumbed to the dreaded Hayden Christensen Syndrome!
Sokka (movie): No one (pulls out boomerang) is taking anybody away.
Katara (movie): Please wait here.
Sokka (movie): What can he do?
Katara (movie): Aren't there spirits here?
Sokka (movie): They were looking for someone with the same markings...
NC: Stop it! Your monotone can break glass!
Sokka (movie): Are you the Avatar, Aang?
(Glass beside the NC shatters, and the NC groans)
NC (vo): But they come across something while hunting.
Sokka (movie): There's something under there.
NC (vo): (in Sokka-monotone) It's a good movie trying to get out. (in Katara-monotone) Kill it. (in normal voice) They discover a boy named Aang frozen in an iceberg, along with his...Where the Wild Things Are mascot (Appa), and take him back to the village. So is this kid's acting just as bad as the other two? Does Shyamalan like awkward shots where people look directly into the camera?
Katara (movie): How'd you get all the way out here?
Aang: I ran away from home. We got in a storm. It wasn't very smart. I was just upset. Thanks for saving me.
(Cut to NC looking flabbergasted)
Katara (movie): Lucky.
Aang: I probably should get home.
Katara (movie): You're not still upset?
Aang: Not as much as I was.
NC: Okay, seriously...am I watching a school play? This all seems like a school play. I mean, I know they're kids. I shouldn't be so harsh. But did anybody give these little pipsqueaks some direction?
NC (vo): Maybe Sokka, the funny and inventive wisecracker who always has a ton of funny lines in the show, can lighten up the mood.
Katara (movie): What would you do if they tried to take me away?
Sokka (movie): I'd kill them all.
NC: (breaks into loud, fake laughter)
Sokka (movie): They prey on the weakest towns and villages.
NC: (more fake, even louder laughter) That's so Sokka!
Sokka (movie): Please don't do this. There must be another way.
NC: (laughter starts to die down)
Sokka (movie): The Fire Nation is following us. If we make a wrong move, they'll catch him.
NC: (his laughter finally peters out) ...I'm sorry. Did they confuse "funny and inventive" with "constipatedly angry all the time"?
NC (vo): He's the biggest stick-in-the-mud the movie has to offer. And that's saying a lot -- there's a lot of sticks-in-the-mud in this movie!
Sokka (movie): They're on a ship. We'd need a miracle to catch them. I know you think everything's going to work out, but I don't.
NC (vo): Oh, Jesus, boy, lighten up! You look like you're gonna shit out a soap opera every time you're on screen!
Sokka (movie): It can't be coincidence that we break him out of the ice, light shoots into the sky, and now the Fire Nation is here with their machines.
(Movie clip is overlapped with clip of animated Sokka)
Sokka (cartoon): Go back to the Fire Nation! (throws rock at movie Sokka)
NC (vo): But things heat up (rimshot) when the evil and sinister Fire Nation arrives.
Fire Nation Soldiers: (voiced over by the NC, chanting) Oh-we-blow, we-blooo-ooowww! Oh-we-blow, we-blooo-ooowww!
NC (vo): This is Prince Zuko, a firebender who is looking to capture the Avatar so he can be unbanished and get his honor back from his father the king. In the show, the father burned almost half of his face off. Here...I think he forgot to put sunblock under his eye or something.
Zuko: I'm taking you to my ship. If you don't come, I'll burn down this village.
Aang: I'll go with you.
NC (vo): Another interesting note -- in the movie, the Fire Nation seems very Indian or Middle-Eastern. Another curious choice, as the show had a much heavier lean towards Japanese. In fact, their skin was lighter than our main heroes. And here, it kind of seems perplexingly reversed. I don't want to make an unnecessary racism argument, especially seeing how an Indian man directed this, but I will let out a very concerned and very troubled "Huh?". But hey, if you can't see the OBVIOUS similarities between the movie's designs and the show's designs, clearly, you haven't drank enough cactus juice.
NC: I mean, God, can you guys imagine constantly misrepresenting characters by constantly getting their skin colors wrong?
(Cut to Malcolm!Sokka and Rachel!Katara shaking their heads)
NC (vo): So Zuko comes and takes Aang away. Thus, Sokka and Katara decide they have to go after him. Why? Well, again in the show, it's because they formed a strong, unbreakable friendship with him. They spend time getting to know him, warmed up to his offbeat personality, and found that they couldn't let an innocent that they've gotten to know so well be tortured by the Fire Nation. But, pfff, hell with that bullshit! Let's make it more like that stray turtle you found on the curb of the road!
Katara (movie): We found that boy. He's our responsibility. We should fight.
NC: (as Katara) I promise I'll feed him and take him on walks!
NC (vo): But their grandmother reveals that Aang is in fact the Avatar, the only one who can master all four elements and communicate with the spirit world.
Katara (movie): Aren't there spirits here?
Kanna: Yes, there are some spirits that live hidden among us. Sure they're watching us with great sadness.
NC (vo): (as Kanna) Or maybe that's the audience. Either way, great sadness. (in normal voice) Zuko and his uncle Iroh give Aang a test and see that all the elements gravitate towards him... even though this never happens anywhere else in the movie, but screw it! We have a hastily rushed escape scene to film, which in the series demonstrates quite clearly how the firebenders do everything in their power to stop them. But here, they just kind of blankly stare at them getting away. But if blank stares could kill... they'd still probably get away. Oh, and you ever wonder how he was frozen in that iceberg to begin with? Well, once again, the original ingeniously tied in both backstories of Zuko and Aang together and showed that upon his discovery of being Avatar, he couldn't take the pressure and ran away, being pushed to the brink of despair and froze himself before drowning in the storm. Many consider this to be the best episode* seeing how it shows the similarities between our hero and our villain. (Beat) Good thing it's just a sentence-and-a-half explanation here. The person talking about it doesn't even show up on screen.
- (That episode NC is referring to is "The Storm", which was ranked #2 on the Top 11 Best Avatar Episodes)
Katara (movie) (vo): He told us how he left there in a storm on Appa, and got forced into the ocean where they almost drowned. Aang airbended a sphere around them, and he couldn't remember anything after that.
NC: But hey, that's just one of the minor major plot devices that probably should've been explored more.
(Images NC is about to describe are shown)
NC (vo): Missing also is Suki, Jet, the pirates, Bumi, the fortuneteller, the Warriors of Kyoshi, Sokka's sense of humor, Katara's strength and motherly wisdom, and any form of fun and enjoyability that the show was so good at balancing out.
NC: BUT!!! It's okay. Because we have that guy from The Daily Show (Assif Mandvi).
(Clip of foaming mouth guy going nuts and falling over)
NC (vo): So Aang and his team travel to his home in the Southern Air Temple, where he thinks he'll find the monks that raised him.
Aang: Monk Gyatso's gonna try and jump out and scare me at any moment. He's kind of like my father.
Katara (movie) (vo): Is it okay if you tell me your name?
Aang: The monks named me Aang.
NC (vo): (stammers) Wait a minute! You traveled all this way, all this distance, and not once did you ever ask him his name?!* You know, for a kid you claim to be your responsibility, getting his name might be the most important step in protecting him! Imagine if you did something basic, like lose him in a crowd!
- - Katara did ask Aang for his name when they first met him, but he was too exhausted to answer.
NC: (as Katara) Help! I've lost my little boy! He's my responsibility, and I can't lose him at any cost!
NC: (as another person) Well, what's his name?
NC: (as Katara) I... Starts with an "A", I think.
NC: (as another person) Allison?
NC: (as Katara) I'm gonna say yes.
NC (vo): And by the way, just a fun little tidbit -- they do pronounce the names different from the show as well.
Aang (movie): My name is Aang (pronounced as "ong").
Aang (cartoon): I'm Aang (pronounced as "ang").
Katara (movie): Sokka (pronounced as "soh-kuh").
Katara (cartoon): Sokka (pronounced as "sah-kuh")!
Iroh (movie): My name is Iroh (pronounced as "ee-roh").
Fire Nation soldier (cartoon): General Iroh (pronounced as "eye-roh").
NC (vo): To harp on this would be too hypocritical, but luckily, the film gives me so much more that I can harp on, like this one. After disguising Aang as a Jawa, they come across a boy named Haru (infinitely younger in this version) who is chased for bending stones at Fire Nation soldiers.
Fire Nation soldier (movie): That child is being arrested.
Katara (movie): For what?
Fire Nation soldier (movie): He was bending tiny stones at us from behind a tree.
(Clip of Robin Hood: Men in Tights)
Sheriff of Rottingham: He "deered" to kill a king's dare!
NC (vo): So they place them all in a prison of earthbenders where-- (The earthbender prison is shown to be an outdoor, market-like place. NC sighs) God...wait a fuck! This is the prison for earthbenders?!
NC: I'm sorry, I'm really sorry, I know it gets really annoying every single time I say "in the show", because it's an adaptation. Adaptations, you gotta make changes, I understand that, I really understand that, but...it's gotta be changes that make sense, guys! So...in the show...
NC (vo): The prison is on a metal ship, where no earthbending is possible, and thus, it breaks their spirit because they can't get away. They are powerless to stop them. Here, THEY'RE FUCKING SURROUNDED BY THE STUFF! Aang makes a big speech about rising up and fighting back, where in the show it's justified -- and Katara -- but still justified because there's a big risk. They have something to lose. Here, it's like saying "walk through a revolving door"! There's nothing to be lost! It's like having an ice-cream-bender at Baskin Robbins, and saying "how the hell am I gonna"-- YOU'RE AN ICE-CREAM-BENDER!
NC: USE YOUR FUCKING MIND!
Aang: It's time for you to stop doing this!
NC (vo): Sure enough, they do start fighting back, and it's about time. I wanna see some badass earthbending effects brought to life by some state-of-the-art effects...
(We are shown a shot of seven earthbenders bending a single boulder)
NC: (poker-faced, removes his glasses and rubs his temples) ...Is that really the extent of your imagination, Shyamalan? Is that really the wide range of possibilities that you could pull off with this scenario? Earthbending. Earthbe-- (taps his table and his rear wall) Earth...bending! Taking the elements of Earth, the fucking planet, and bending it to your will! And this is the poor fuck-ass piece of shit you could come up with? Okay. (puts his glasses back on) Let me give you a crash course, or a reminder, as someone who has clearly seen the show, what just one -- ONE -- earthbender can do.
(Several clips of benders in Avatar: The Last Airbender earthbending, including The Hippo, Toph Bei Fong, and Aang, are shown)
NC: One. That was all one earthbender in every single one of those scenes. Now, let's see what, uh, one, two, three, four, five... Five! ("SIX, BUT WHO'S COUNTING?") Five of your shitty-ass earthbenders from your piece of fuck film could accomplish.
(The earthbending scene in the movie is shown again)
Earthbenders: (voiced over by the NC, rhythmically) I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT! SHORT! AND! STOUT!
Earthbender #7: (voiced over by the NC, nasally) Don't worry, guys, I'll get him! Take that!
NC: Now, just as a friendly reminder, this is what five guys could do in that...other show you claim to be such a big fan of.
(Clip of Avatar: The Last Airbender in which three Earthbenders are able to chuck a tank like it was a toy)
NC: THAT WAS A TANK! A FUCKING TANK! Five guys! (slaps table, claps hands) TANK! (stammers) And what did your pussies do again?!
(The movie clip replays with audio replaced with sound effects and music from The Jetsons)
NC: Your version. (movie clip plays) Theirs. (cartoon clip plays) Your version. Theirs. Your version. Theirs. Your version. Theirs. Your version. Theirs. WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?!? Have you no passion for possibility? Have you no understanding this... "barrel of Miyazaki" that you could unleash with this creativity? I mean, what is your major malfunction, you... sucker of talent and good? What is going on in your head? Please! Contact me! Let me know! Let me know what the flying fuck has caused you to become so uninspired when this stuff has practically gift-wrapped it for you and just said, "Make me incredible! Make me incredible!" Please! Get in contact with me! Get in co--
(Door opens, and Malcolm!Sokka and Rachel!Katara dash in)
Katara: Critic! You have to bring balance back faster!
NC: What? Why?
Sokka: Turn on the TV!
(NC turns his TV on, which shows an image of M. Night Shyamalan's face on a background that reads "FUCK UP LORD SHYAMALAN")
TV Announcer: And now, a message from Shyamalan.
(Shyamalan is shown in an outfit resembling Amon from The Legend of Korra)
Shyamalan: Greetings. I am Shyamalan. I know many of you were... disappointed by my theatrical edition to the Avatar franchise. Well, I'm here to tell you that my power to destroy great art has grown even stronger. For you see, I have discovered how to take any performer's acting ability away.
(NC, Sokka, and Katara gasp)
NC: He's bluffing. No director is that bad or powerful!
Shyamalan: And for those who think I'm not that bad or powerful, just look at what I did to Mark Wahlberg in The Happening.
(Several spliced together clips of The Happening play)
Elliot Moore: What? No!/Toxin?/I'm talking to a plastic plant.
Katara: But...but that's a critically-acclaimed actor!
Sokka: He's mastered the art of talentbending!
Shyamalan: I plan to use this power to destroy the Avatar franchise once and for all. How, you may ask? I plan on doing a Legend of Korra movie.
(NC, Sokka, and Katara gasp)
NC: But that's a fresh start! A chance to get a new audience!
Shyamalan: Rest assured, the franchise will be destroyed forever once The Legend of Korra has been "Shyamalized". And for a certain Avid Jerk who might be listening, I have only this to say: stand down. No critic has ever been able to stop me before. If you do not, I will suck out what little talent you had to begin with. That is all.
(The broadcast ends)
Katara: Well, Critic, it seems that all hope for the franchise rests with you.
(Zoom out, and the NC's chair is vacant)
(NC is shown fleeing the building in fear; Sokka and Katara catch up, and Katara bloodbends him through a glass window)
Cabbage Merchant: My cabbages!
Sokka: Are you sure we have the right guy?
(NC is heard groaning in pain, and Katara bloodbends him into submission as the video cuts to commercial. When we return from commercial, we open on a Legend of Korra-style recap)
Narrator: After discovering the Avid Jerk, a new plan is revealed that Shyamalan will unleash his greatest evil yet to the Avatar franchise. Will Nostalgia Critic and team be able to bring balance in time? And more importantly, will this review keep focus as to which series it wishes to satirize?
(Back to the movie)
NC (vo): So they're given some bending scrolls by Master Mickey Mouse, but Aang explains that he can't bend all four elements.
Sokka (movie): We should go visit some of these towns, Aang.
Aang (movie): I need to tell you something.
NC: (surprised by the close-up on Aang's face) Aah!
Aang: I ran away before they trained me.
NC: Lay off the close-ups, guy! He looks like he's transforming into Paul Giamatti! Christ, you can practically see their breath on the lens, they're so close!
Aang: Water comes after air in the cycle. (as he speaks, his breath fogs up the camera lens) Air, water, earth, fire.
NC (vo): They decide now to finally go to the North Pole to have the great masters teach him waterbending. Meanwhile, Commander Zhao, I guess, is talking to this other guy who puckers his lips so much, I swear he's waiting to be kissed by him.
Zhao: Our spies have discovered someone claiming to be the Avatar. They describe him as just a boy. We should set a trap for this person.
Ozai: Let's hope, for your sake, my son doesn't find this person first...
NC (vo): Wait a minute. That's the Fire Lord? That's the great badass villain in all this? That's the Fi--?!
NC: (raging angrily before calming down) Show, do your thing!
NC (vo): The Fire Lord was built up big time, always kept in shadow until the final season. He was like the Doctor Claw of this show. And when he finally was revealed, he wasn't a monster or anything, but he was still intimidating. Even the picture Zuko stares at in the film looks like the original Fire Lord. But this? THIS? This is the most common, non-threatening person you could put in this role! It's like they grabbed a guy at the grocery store and dressed him up as Biggus Dickus!
Biggus Dickus: (audio from Life of Brian plays over Ozai) Hail Caesar!
NC (vo): Hell, Biggus Dickus is more intimidating than him! He at least is played by an actor I know is dead!
NC: Which kind of has the ghost value...It's more intimidating than this!
NC (vo): So Aang goes on his own to the Northern Air Temple to see if he can find any monks. He finds a villager who shows him a room filled with all his past lives. And in my opinion, the majority of the problems with this movie can be summed up right here. See if you can spot why.
Villager: Now, how did the airbenders know you were the Avatar, little one?
Aang: They gave me a test. They put a thousand toys in front of me and asked me to choose four. They said I chose the same four objects that belonged to the previous Avatars.
NC: Don't see it? Allow me to explain.
NC (vo): You have a great setup for an emotional moment. Aang is seeing all his past lives. The power and weight of who he is should hit him at this very point. But instead, what do they do? Try to explain more exposition.
Aang: There's a ceremony when everyone bows to me. That's when I accept my role as the Avatar. But when everyone bowed...I didn't bow back.
NC (vo): And that is the problem. Whether you're aware of the show or you're not aware of the show, the movie is all explanation with no humanity. Why do you think they waited twenty minutes of the film to ask him his name? Because that's not what was most important to Shyamalan. The identity? Who gives a shit? It can't be nearly as important as explaining...
Zhao: As you know, I conducted a raid on the Great Library, which most said didn't even exist.
NC (vo): ...and explaining...
Sokka (movie): But there are really powerful benders in the Northern Water Tribe. My dad told me about it before he left.
NC (vo): ...and explaining...
Zhao: It has been confirmed that he's traveling north. It is my strong belief that he is traveling to the Northern Water Tribe.
NC (vo): ...and explaining.
Pakku: If we keep them to the courtyard and the marketplace 'til night falls...
NC (vo): I DON'T FUCKING CARE! And you know why? Because I never once heard anyone in this movie say "I 'feel' this" or "I 'like' this" or "I 'wonder' this". There are no emotions being addressed. Traditional storytelling is setting up a character (a picture of Luke Skywalker is shown), sending them on their journey (another picture of Luke Skywalker is shown, this time holding a lightsaber), and learning more about them through their journey (a final picture showing Luke's training with Yoda is shown).
NC: Last Airbender is just chess piece storytelling.
NC (vo): Character goes here, character goes there, character says this, pawn to king four. (a picture of said chess pieces are shown) So in this scene that should've been the emotional pinnacle of our main star, it's just more explaining about what happened rather than why it happened.
NC: So you pardon me if, rather than be concerned when the...
NC (vo): ...villager betrays him to the Fire Nation, I ask that you remind me what you revealed about him that's worth giving any investment whatsoever. This isn't me being angry that it's different from the show, this is me being angry that it's missing the most essential element of telling any story: if the character can never express any emotion, why should the audience ever express any emotion? But yes, while we're on the subject, that does make this possibly one of the worst adaptations of all time! A show that created such memorable characters, characters you almost believe were real, you wanted to be real, you wished they were real, being portrayed as the most stock, boring, empty vessels of just explaining more plot is about as insulting to an adaptation as you can get. By God, it's one of the few times I'm glad the characters I love so much aren't real. Could you imagine them actually seeing how they would be represented in movie form? I fucking cringe!
(Clips of the movie play while audience laughs in the background. The animated clips are from the episode "The Ember-Island Players")
Sokka (movie): I saw how long the drag skids are. That shows you how fast they're going.
Sokka (cartoon): This is pathetic! My jokes are way funnier than this!
Katara (movie) (vo): The scroll we had was proving to be helpful. Aang was practicing...
Katara (cartoon): Well, that's just silly. I don't sound like that!
Aang (movie): I left a few days ago./You're lying!
Aang (cartoon): I don't do that! That's not what I'm like!
Zuko (movie): Who are you? What's your name?!
Zuko (cartoon): They make me look totally stiff and humorless!
(The cartoon versions of the characters watch more clips of their movie counterparts unamused. Cut to the ending scene of the episode, with an image of a movie theatre shown alongside the clip, as if the characters are walking out the movie theatre)
Aang (cartoon): I'll say.
Katara (cartoon): No kidding.
Toph: You said it.
Sokka (cartoon): But the effects were decent.
NC (vo): Thus, we continue with our season 1 Wikipedia recap, as a character called the Blue Spirit breaks him free, and they fight their way out. I smell a Shyamalan over-long, overused tracking shot coming up!
(Tracking shot of Aang and the Blue Spirit fighting off Fire Nation soldiers plays)
NC (vo): Okay, guy, tracking shots are fine, but when you use them for every other fight scene, it not only gets old, but it slows the action down. It's obvious the actors have to wait for the camera to get into place, thus taking a fight sequence that could be really quick and impressive and instead have half of it be them just standing around doing nothing. That's why we have editing, you dumbass jerk! If part of the shot didn't work or was hard to see, you edit it out! But here, screw it! "I just wanna show off that I can do this in one shot!" Okay, great! You can do it! It looks cluttered, slow, and incredibly awkward, but FUCK! You could do it! Give that man a tediously obnoxious directing award! I think it's the same one that went to (an image of Spike Lee is shown) this person just a few years earlier!
Zhao: Why are you doing this? Who are you?
Blue Spirit: ...
Zhao: Open the gates.
NC (vo): So the Blue Spirit gets him out, and it's revealed to be Zuko. There's two reasons this curious scene was left in the movie rather than just having it cut out. One is that Zhao and Zuko are in a race to bring the Avatar to the Fire Lord, meaning one of them can cement their position forever. And the other reason, of course, being just so Shyamalan can shout...
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Robot Chicken)
M. Night Shyamalan: What a twist!
NC: Ah, you knew that was coming.
Ozai: You think my son is this person the soldiers are calling the Blue Spirit.
NC: (as Zhao) I recognized his... mouth.
NC (vo): Actually, to the film's very little credit, Zhao, Zuko, and Iroh are probably the only decent actors in this film. They perform their parts well and probably have the closest thing to emotional moments this film could muster. That is, before it's cut off needlessly for more exposition.
Iroh: Now be sure to keep your uniform closed up to your neck. And remember, your chi can warm you.
Zuko: I know, uncle.
Iroh: (voiced over by the NC) By the way, nephew, as your uncle, I care for you very-- Oh, more story, more story, sorry, sorry, more story!
NC (vo): So Aang and the team finally make their way to the North Pole, and...oh, God. Is this it? This has gotta be it. Please tell me this is it-- (Shot of Princess Yue from the back enters the camera frame as Ode to Joy plays) Oh, my God, it's even more phallic than I imagined!
NC: The stories were true! Gaze into the holy grail of comedic possibilities!
NC (vo): Oh, my God, there's too many jokes to choose from!
("Does that require a Blowdry or a Blowjob? Are haircuts known as circumcisions? I said 'Public Hair' not 'Pubic Hair!' Does this make Queen Amidala's hair look less vaginal or more vaginal? When you said your hair is a dick to comb, I didn't know you meant a DICK to comb. Does the rug match the prick shaped drapes? You might be the only female I can get away with calling dick head. So when you say you're washing your hair tonight, does that technically count as masturbating? This is great, I can technically reach first AND second base both at the same time. You're making the Coneheads look modest. Is that a cock on your block or are you just happy to see me? Now I see why they call you 'Hard Head.' What does she use for a headband, a censor bar? Was your hooker name 'Tip of the Iceberg?' Well, two heads are better than one. Seeing how you're royalty, do they crown you with a cock ring? I'm gonna guess and say night caps and condoms are pretty much the same for you. Pardon me your highness, but your hair looks like a giant penis.")
NC: Oh! Which one should I go with? Which one should I go with?! Um...this one!
(NC chooses "What does she use for a headband, a censor bar?"; the rest of the annotation disappears)
NC: Hey! What does she use for a headband, a censor bar? (rimshot)
NC (vo): Oh-ho-ho-ho, magnificent!
NC: (looks off-camera) Oh, thank you, Shyamalan! Thank you for your unintentional hilarity!
(Cut to Shyamalan standing just a few feet away)
Shyamalan: You're welcome.
NC: (turns back to the camera) Now I-- D'AHHH! (jumps out of his seat)
(NC backs away from Shyamalan, and is joined by Malcolm!Sokka and Rachel!Katara)
Sokka: It's Shyamalan!
(Shyamalan approaches the three; Katara attempts to bloodbend him away, but he endures it and approaches slowly)
Katara: My bloodbending should be working!
Sokka: It's no use! He cares nothing for the logic of this realm, so he barely follows it!
Katara: Quick, Critic! Finish the review so you can restore balance!
NC: Oh! Uh, okay! (looks to the camera)
NC (vo): So in the show, Sokka and the princess of the Northern Water Tribe form a very powerful friendship, eventually resulting in a romance that would ultimately end in tragedy. Let's see if the movie does, too.
Katara (movie) (vo): My brother and the princess became friends right away.
NC (vo): And that's all you need! Yes, all the emotions and character developed can just be summed up in that one sentence! God, Shyamalan's writing knows how to cut the fat of all that pesky caring! God, why do we listen to all that pesky talk in Hamlet when it could've been summed up with...
Narrator (Rachel): [picture of David Tennant as Hamlet] The prince didn't like his uncle. [scene changes to a picture of Tennant with a crazed look on his face about to kill Sir Patrick Stewart's Claudius] Hijinks ensued.
(Dramatic music starts playing, accompanied by a caption of red text that reads "Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan")
NC (vo): Oh, I take it back. They do have one conversation. But thankfully, it's not used to develop character or form a strong bond. It's for -- you guessed it -- more explaining!
Yue: When I was born, I was not awake. My mother and father could not get me to make a sound or move. So they prayed for days to the Moon Spirit.
Amelia (from The Tick): Please! No more 'splaining!
Sokka (movie): She'll say, "Why is your hair white, young lady? You look very odd."
Yue: (voiced over by the NC) I dunno. Why are you so white?
NC (vo): So both Aang and Katara master their waterbending from Bill Connolly-Theoden, and as you can see...there's no stopping their incredible abilities now. [And nothing's happening] Look at all that water fly. Nobody dare cross the phenomenal power that these two-- Okay, here's another problem with the movie: the bending takes forever! The original keeps the action quick and exciting, as... well, action should be! Maybe two moves could do something impressive. But here, I could heat up a Hot Pocket before these guys do anything exciting! If the opening was being honest, here's how it should really go.
(Cut to opening sequence with waterbender doing martial arts and no waterbending)
Katara (vo): Water.
(Waterbender keeps doing martial arts)
Katara (vo): Water.
(Waterbender is still going)
Katara (vo): WATER!
(Waterbender finally bends a tiny splash)
Waterbender: Water Tribe...!
(Waterbender gets shot)
NC (vo): But, with the Fire Nation getting ready to attack and the Water Tribe getting ready to defend themselves...
(Pakku sounds the battle cry of "HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!", and the Water Tribe soldiers pound their spears against the ice)
NC (vo): ...with a call that lures them into a false sense of hilarity, Aang tries to figure out a way to fight them off without killing anybody as it's not the monks' way.
Aang: Is there a spiritual place where I can meditate?
Yue: There is a very spiritual place.
NC (vo): So he comes across the Moon Spirit who's disguised as a fish...yeah, that wasn't the best explained in the show either, but...Aang meditates to figure out an answer.
Yue: I have to get back.
Sokka (movie): I'll take you.
Katara (movie): I'll stay with him.
NC (vo): Um, Katara doesn't seem like the best person to look after him. I mean, don't get me wrong. In the other version, it made sense. She had a kind, mature heart, but also the focus and strength to kick some ass in several awesome scenes. Nobody in their right mind would dare cross her. But in the movie...she pushed a guy.
(We are shown the foaming mouth guy scene again)
NC (vo): Well, maybe she'll finally be allowed to show her real strength when Prince Zuko comes and tries to take Aang away. And seeing how she made it very clear how Aang is her responsibility, she's gonna do everything in her power to make sure nothing happens to him-- [Zuko easily overpowers and knocks out Katara] --and you suuuuuuck! Katara and Sokka: as useful as "No Smoking" signs in college. But Aang wakes up and escapes Zuko through the most masterful approach possible: reenacting a Tom and Jerry routine!
(Clip of Zuko and Aang followed by Tom and Jerry clip featuring Tom and Spike)
NC (vo): But things go awry when Zhao finds the Moon Spirit and kills it, destroying not only the Moon, but the Tribe's barely impressive waterbending!
Iroh: You have been anointed by the Moon Spirit.
Yue: He gave me life when I was a child.
Iroh: Then there is still a chance!
NC (vo): But since the princess was given part of the Spirit to save her, she sacrifices her own life in order to put the Moon Spirit back in its place. (as Aasif Mandvi) I can hardly explain what I'm seeing, Jon, but the Moon just came back! (in normal voice) This results in Zhao getting axed, Slumdog Millionaire returning to his uncle, Aang raising the waves to scare the rest of the army off -- by the way, for someone who can't kill, I don't think these guys (arrow points to soldiers getting swallowed by the tidal wave) made it out okay -- and a "To Be Continued" that, thank Jesus, will never be continued.
Ozai: Now you must stop the Avatar from mastering earth and fire. You must give us the time to get to that day. Do you accept this unspeakably important task I'm putting in your hands?
Azula: I do, Father.
(Cut back to the NC's office where Rachel!Katara is still fending off Shyamalan with bloodbending)
Katara: It's not working! The review isn't hurting him! Don't you have anything else?
NC: Not really, no!
Katara: I can't hold him much...longer!
(Shyamalan breaks free of Katara's grip, and Katara falls over exhausted)
Sokka: Well, do something!
(Shrieking, NC charges at Shyamalan; Shyamalan moves out of the way of NC's charge...)
NC: Aw, shit.
(...leaving NC open for Shyamalan to talentbend him)
(Katara and Sokka watch in horror)
(NC turns to face Katara and Sokka with a blank stare)
Shyamalan: Too late. He's been "Shyamalized".
NC: (in monotone) Hi, guys. I just wanna stand directly in the middle of the shot and stare blankly into the camera.
Katara: Oh, no!
(Shyamalan raises his thumb)
Shyamalan: You two are next.
(Katara bloodbends Shyamalan again)
Sokka: Critic! It's not too late! Get in contact with your other life!
Katara: Meditate! He'll come to you as a spirit animal! Quickly! There's no time!
NC: (in monotone) Okay. I'll try.
(NC enters a meditative state as Shyamalan slowly approaches Katara and Sokka; in his trance, NC enters another space filled with fog)
Katara (vo): (echoing) He'll come to you as a spirit animal!
(NC opens and widens his eyes; camera cuts to his back, and we see his spirit animal: a plaidipus bunny)
Doug: Oh, bullshit! This is my spirit animal?! God, why did I write this role so convoluted? Okay, whatever. Hi, hi, what do you want?
NC: (in monotone) I need to know how to defeat the Shyamalan.
Doug: Um...I dunno.
NC: (in monotone) What do you mean, you don't know?
Doug: I don't know! Avatar was weeks ago! I'm reviewing Legend of Korra now!
NC: (in monotone) Really? How's that?
Doug: It's okay, but it's no Avatar. I guess when you get down to it, there can only be one Avatar.
(NC snaps out of his "talentbent" state)
NC: Wait a minute. I got it. I got it! I know how to restore balance to the franchise! Oh, thank you, Plaidipus Bunny!
Doug: It's Doug actually.
NC: Plaidipus Bunny, you saved the world!
Doug: Doug Walker. That's the whole name there.
NC: I will always remember you...
NC and Doug: Plaidipus Bunny.
Doug: God, why did I write you so stupid?
(NC meditates again and returns to the physical world; Shyamalan is seen still approaching Katara and Sokka with his thumb)
NC: Wait a minute! Guys! I figured it out!
(Shyamalan turns to face NC)
NC: I know how to save the franchise!
NC: Do nothing!
Katara: You're right. We got the wrong guy.
Sokka: I blame myself.
Katara: You should.
NC: No, you don't understand. The franchise was never out of balance to begin with.
(Clips from both the show and the movie play out as NC gives his final official thought)
NC (vo): The movie is awful, the acting is awkward, the writing beyond lazy, and it fails both trying to be a faithful adaptation and a standalone movie. But it could never be a standalone movie because there's only one Avatar: the series. It was perfectly paced, perfectly performed, perfectly animated. It was that rare anomaly that, chances are, can never be recreated. And there's no reason to change it. It's like trying to make an opera by Mozart better -- you can't do it. Every note is where it needs to be. I'm sure there'll be different adaptations in the future the same way people did with Looney Tunes and other timeless characters, but the point is the original characters are still timeless characters. And nothing anyone can do can change that. If anything, the bad adaptation makes us appreciate the original material even more. So you can do whatever you want to the franchise.
NC: Because no matter what, nothing can take away or make any better what's already perfect.
Sokka: Well, that's great, Critic, but... (gestures toward Shyamalan)
Shyamalan: Yeah, still gonna do evil things.
NC: Oh, right, right. Hmm. How would an Avatar series end this? Um...Deus ex machina!
(Lightning strikes, and Katara, Sokka, and Shyamalan turn to face Aang, played by Trevor Mueller)
Katara and Sokka: Aang!
Shyamalan: Wait, are you Last Airbender Aang or Legend of Korra Aang?
Aang: I don't care.
(Aang waves his finger, and Shyamalan explodes)
Sokka: Wait. I thought Aang wasn't allowed to kill.
NC: Of course! I understand what he's saying! Don't get too offended at all the changes made, as long as you still have the original to enjoy! Right?
(Aang vanishes in a puff of smoke)
NC: Well, maybe sometimes, the best way to keep balance is to realize that balance is already being kept. Enjoy your incredibly awesome show, and enjoy hating your incredible awful movie.
(Katara bloodbends NC and makes him hit himself)
NC: WHAT IS YOUR DEA--?!
(Cut to black, and the end credits roll)
Channel Awesome Tagline: Sokka (movie): Are you the Avatar, Aang?