To this day, I haven’t watched M. Night Shaymalan’s The Last Airbender all the way through. I walked out of the film when it was released in theaters, and I’ve had no desire to ever finish it. It was just one of those movies that I wasn’t going to waste my time on. The movie was bashed by critics, and I have yet to met a single person who has actually liked the movie.
Talking to IGN, the director attempted to explain why people didn’t like the movie. Of course, he wouldn’t come out and say that he did a piss-poor job. Instead he says it was made for 9 and 10-year-olds, and thats why most audiences didn’t get it. Here’s what he said:
"My child was nine-years-old. So you could make it one of two ways. You could make it for that same audience, which is what I did -- for nine and 10-year-olds -- or you could do the Transformers version and have Megan Fox. I didn't do that. That would have felt like, 'Well, I'm going to make a movie about a kids show that my 10-year-old is watching and not make it for her. I make it for my guy friends.' That felt like a betrayal of the innocence of the piece. In retrospect, is it too young to go out -- it's like what your intention is versus what they want it to be. Clearly, 10-year-olds -- I go out and 10-year-olds are like, 'That's my favorite show! I love that movie!' Parents come up to me and go, 'They've watched The Last Airbender 74 times!' Those kids, it's for them. It was for them, to talk about mysticism and Eastern philosophies through a 10-year-old's vernacular. So, you know, these are business propositions, which have very little interest to me, of like, 'Hey, the business proposition is to get Megan Fox to be...' You know, 'You should age it 'til it's that.' That wasn't the source material, you know what I mean? Whereas, also, like a Transformers, it's really fascinating, because it's valid for Transformers. You know why it's valid? Because it's the little boys that were playing with them are grown up now. They're the ones who wanted to see Megan Fox. That's absolutely appropriate, you know what I mean?"
I’m sorry, but that’s complete bullshit. Look at all the great kids films that have been made over the years that even adults enjoy watching. Studios like Pixar, Disney, and even Marvel are constantly pumping out films for audiences of all ages. On top of that, the original Avatar cartoon that the film was based on was better than the movie, it was something adults also enjoyed watching, and it had a more diverse reach. Making a movie strictly for 9 and 10-year-olds probably isn’t the best business plan for any filmmaker.
Why can't the guy just come out and admit that he screwed up and made a crappy film, instead of putting the blame on other things? This is just such a ridiculous excuse. A talented director could have made an awesome Avatar movie that everyone could have enjoyed, Shyamalan obviously wasn’t that guy.